Railways’ revenue from passenger fares as well as freight rates is expected to fall short of the Budget target by Rs 15,744 crore in the current fiscal.
He said the budget caters to all sections of the society and “stands out because it is an infrastructure-led and employment generating budget”.
For the second year, there has been proposed no hike in passenger and freight fares.
Despite the pay commission recommendations, which will hit the Railways by Rs 30,000 crore, the minister is still looking at an operating ratio of 92%, which is extremely challenging.
“We will be at the forefront of infrastructure growth by forming joint ventures with states, developing new frameworks for PPP, scouting worldwide markets for rupee bonds or engaging with multilateral and bilateral agencies”, the minister said.
The “please-all” Rail Budget, this year, tabled by Union Rail Minister Suresh Prabhu on Thursday has also brought good news for Bihar. Presenting the railway budget for 2016-17 Prabhu said: “We hope to have the draft bill ready after holding extensive stake holder consultations”.
“The bullet train project will only end up promoting privatisation”, he said and recalled “his days” as Railway Minister.
“Common people have already been bearing the brunt of hike in passengers fare, tatkal and premium tatkal fare hike since 2015-16”. Another new train service Tejas, that will showcase the future of train travel, will operate at the speed of 130 kmph and above.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said he plans to revamp Asia’s oldest rail network and make it the “backbone” of India’s economic development.
It is a crowd pleaser Railway Budget. He also said that Indian Railways is exploring the feasibility of providing an option to our customers for drinking tea in kulhad.
“While we saw qualitative measures on freight like enhancing its basket we could have looked at more concrete measures”, said Tilak Raj Seth Vice Chairman CII Rail Transportation & Equipment Division. The porters would henceforth be known as “sahayaks”, which translates as “helpers” in Hindi “in line with evolving image of Indian Railways”, he said.
All existing terminals/sheds would be granted access to container traffic, where considered feasible, he said.