Rail Budget 2013 Highlights: A mix bag for India Inc; Opposition calls ‘Anti-people budget’

Amid positive measures for people safety, Rail Minister PK Bansal’s Budget 2013-14 come up with positive and significant effects, sparing passengers from hike in basic train fares.

Bansal proposed to introduce as many as 67 express trains and 26 passenger trains and 9 EMUs by end of this year, and also 72 additional suburban services in Mumbai and 18 in Kolkata.

With a formation of an independent Rail Tariff Authority, Bansal promised to establish a Debt Service Fund, but no hike in passenger fare.

This is for the first time since a decade that along with no burden on travelers, Rs 850-crore revenue will be hope to absorb by railways.

Although with several innovative passengers-friendly measures, one have to pay more while travelling on a train as a “marginal” increase has proposed in other charges on tickets including supplementary charge, superfast charge, reservation charge, clerkage charge, cancellation charge and Tatkal charge, reports said.

There will be a 5 percent hike in freight tariff listed in Railway Budget for 2013-14.

More is that Bansal announced to introduce five Mainline Electrical Multiple Units (MEMUs) besides eight DEMUs, offers E-ticketing System on mobiles and free wi-fi facility on trains to go with next-generation modern technology to eliminate delays problems.

‘Aadhar’ will be the base for bookings and validation of passengers who can now get the reservation status via SMS alert service, being introduced.

Over all, the best and operative Rail Budget 2013-14 is hoping to be best for people, but point is towards its implementation. As sources said, Opposition including BSP Chief Mayawati, Bihar CM Nitish Kumar and BJP party set down it as an anti-states Budget, even SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav called it the worst and the most anti-people budget in many years.


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