Trade & industry hail rail budget

Trade & industry hail rail budget


In the face of Railway Budget 2009-10 leaving the freight and fare rate untouched, trade and industry termed it as “a progressive and forward looking budget” saying the budget had mooted a number of projects that will carry railways to the next technology level.

Welcoming the Railway Budget Ficci President Harsh Pati Singhania said “this is very much in line with industry expectations. The initiative to develop cold storage cargo handling facilities will prevent wastage of food and vegetables and this is an initial step towards ushering in second green revolution in the country.”

“The industry is pleased that the minister has not increased freight tariff, provided there is no re-classification of the tariff structure,” he said.

The important announcements like linking industrial clusters to markets, introduction of several projects under Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode and setting up of land banks for commercial and industrial use of railway land would contribute to develop markets and creating demand, Ficci said.

Ficci also welcomed the setting up of technical committee for laying down optical fibre cables network along the railway tracks for commercial use. 

The CII said “this budget is unique in the way inclusivity and overall development has been the focus without losing focus on safety, technology adoption and commercialisation while providing opportunities for industry though its capacity expansion programme and setting up infrastructure through PPP mode.”

“The move to not increase fares and yet undertake developmental and capacity expansion plans with revenue coming from commercial use of railway property is an innovative approach”, CII Director General  Chandrajit Banerjee said. Assocham President Sajjan Jindal showered praises on Railway  Minister for presenting a people and industry friendly railway budget since no increase in passenger fare and freight traffic has been proposed.

Dependence on power
“This move is praiseworthy especially for times when people and industry are somehow coping with adversaries of economic slowdown,” he noted.

Appreciating the proposal for setting up of 1000 mw power plant Assocham said it would definitely reduce railway dependence on power supply from other utilities.  Announcement of setting up of committee to commercialise railways optic fiber network will help railways “a great deal”, it felt.

However, Jindal observed that elaborate steps and proposals were somehow missing for massive modernisation of railways to take it on  par with modern management of railways.

The Federation of Indian Export Organisations (Fieo) said the emphasis on social viability is needed for inclusive growth of the country.

Fieo appreciated the move to put dedicated freight corridors projects on fast track basis so that the freight cost and time is saved adding to the competitiveness of the products meant for exports or imports of products with a view to reduce the delivery schedules.  
The introduction of super fast parcel services will facilitate and expedite movement of goods, it said.

While commending the Budget proposal for introduction of a dozen non stop trains Fieo suggested that two bogies in these trains could be attached for sending goods to ports/airports as freight charges for these would be much competitive vis-a-vis air freight and expeditious delivery of goods would help to save time simultaneously.

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