Published On : Thu, Feb 25th, 2016

Crowd pleaser Railway Budget

dipen-agarwal-president-famNagpur: It is a crowd pleaser Railway Budget. Railway Minister has attempted to please all-industry, experts and passengers, he sounded upbeat through his budget speech which seemed to be a crowd pleaser with something for everyone. Industry is enthused by the announcement of more locomotive factories, greater broad-gauging of tracks, more rail track, dedicated freight corridors and electrifications, all of which will create new demand points. Passengers are glad at the lack of any passenger fare hikes, while the industry and transporters also did not get hit by freight rate hike. He also announced better services and employee benefits.

The expansions of dedicated freight corridors will contribute as revenue generators in the long term, but it will take off only if infrastructure is improved. Appreciate ambitious target but funding is a concern. Support from Public Private Partnership (PPP) and external funding have always been underachieved in the past and meeting financial targets is a serious question now, focus on increasing freight transport will be positive for the industry but resources needed to execute this are very limited. The budget is comprehensive and its vision and intent is commendable.

There is a little disappointment for Mumbai and Maharashtra as there are no new trains or major announcement except for two rail corridors. Increase of the platform height of each station in Mumbai though was welcome as a safety measure.