Rail stocks are mixed just ahead of the Rail Budget to be presented by Suresh Prabhu at 12 pm today. Stocks like Hind Rectifiers and Titagarh Wagons are up 1-2 percent while Kalindee Rail , Texmaco and Kernex Micro are down 2-4 percent intraday on Thursday.
A lot of suggestions from the Prime Minister’s office have been incorporated in the Budget and the focus is likely to be on attracting investment, modernisation of trains through Wifi and transparency in railway systems.
While a fare hike is unlikely across the board, acess for cleanliness cannot be ruled out. Prabhu is likely to unravel his grand plans of how to decrease the cross-subsidy for passenger service from freight earnings which is touching Rs 24,000 crore and the steps to increase goods transportation share in the national transporter with or without hiking fares.
For 10 years before 2012-13 there was no increase in rail fares. Then Railway Minister and Trinamool Congress leader Dinesh Trivedi had made an across-the-board hike in 2012-2013 but was made to roll back the hike in second and sleeper class categories. Since then there have been hikes in passenger fares.
Before the first Railway budget of the Modi government in July last, fares were increased by 14.2 percent and freight rates by 6.5 percent.