Rail Budget positive, freight hike inflationary: India Inc

Engineering exporters body EEPC India Chairman Anupam Shah said the Rail Budget would improve ease of doing business and improve connectivity of the manufacturing units with the ports and air connectivity.

twitter-logo PTI   New Delhi     Last Updated: February 26, 2015  | 19:56 IST
Rail Budget positive, freight hike inflationary: India Inc
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu hiked freight charge by up to 10 per cent that will help to mop up around Rs 4,000 crore, but refrained from increasing passenger fares.

India Inc on Thursday welcomed Railway Budget's emphasis on involving the private sector as also the focus on improving passenger amenities, but said the freight hike was inflationary.

"Apart from various measures to improve passenger amenities, increasing safety, capacity augmentation in the high density network areas and enhanced customer experience are welcomed," Siemens Executive Vice President (Mobility), Tilak Raj Seth, said.

Engineering exporters body EEPC India Chairman Anupam Shah said the Rail Budget would improve ease of doing business and improve connectivity of the manufacturing units with the ports and air connectivity.

RAIL BUDGET 2015:Key announcements | Full speech | Video

"Increase in freight charges in commodities like coal, cement, steel would add to the cost of production," Shah said.

CII President Designate Sumit Mazumdar said, "We feel that Rail Budget is very positive. The industry have reasons to feel bullish. It will help build a good image of the country."

Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu hiked freight charge by up to 10 per cent that will help to mop up around Rs 4,000 crore, but refrained from increasing passenger fares. He also proposed investment plans worth Rs 8.50 lakh crore for the next five years.

Prabhu also announced a slew of measures for revamping the railways including partnering PSUs for capacity building in freight carriages and private sector to improve last mile connectivity, expand fleet of rolling stock and modernise station infrastructures.

Alstom Transport India MD Bharat Salhotra said the budget promises to revamp the public private partnership (PPP) cell which would lead to rapid modernisation of railways.

"It will also allow Indian Railways to induct from the private sector, new technologies based on life cycle costs rather than merely the capital cost of procurement," he added.

FULL COVERAGE:Union Budget 2015

Assocham President Rana Kapoor said, "Enhancing train speed both for passenger and freight segment would bring in higher efficiency and improve ease of doing business."

Welcoming the Railway Budget, Thales (India) VP & Country Director Antoine Caput said increasing line capacities, enhancing safety, introducing high-speed rails and corridors leading to overall modernisation augur well for the country, its people and the industry.

"This is a very positive budget that can build momentum for significantly reformed Railways in the years to come," Grant Thornton India Partner G V Subrahmanyam said.

Titagarh Wagons VC & MD Umesh Choudhury said, "The Budget presents a five year comprehensive roadmap for the railways".


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India Electronics and Semiconductor Association Chairman Ashok Chandak lauded government efforts towards digitation of railways.

The Budget has proposed to introduce on-board entertainment on select Shatabdi trains, buttons, coin vending machines for railway tickets and e-catering to select meals from an array of choices.

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