Budget 2015

26Feb

Rail Budget 2015-16 India Update : Appreciate thrust on capacity expansion, says Kalindee Rail

Sandeep Fuller, managing director, Kalindee Rail says the Railway Minister’s thrust on capacity augmentation in the Budget announced today will go a long way for the Indian Railways.

Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu said the government will partner with private sector to improve rolling stock fleet. The railways will also focus on adopting a medium-term perspective to focus on adopting a medium-term perspective.

One of the key things with which the Railway Minister started was that he mentioned about the vicious cycle of under investment. So, he has set the trend by giving a very systematic development of what are his goals, what are his way forwards and what are his thrust areas.

Amongst the thrust areas there is a major thrust on capacity augmentation which is welcome and which will go a long way in improving the performance of the railways. Besides this he has also talked of increasing the total freight haulage to 1.5 billion tonne which is big target but it is definitely achievable with introduction of better wagons, improved wagon leasing scheme which he is looking at and improved and new designs of wagons to be coming in.

On the whole he has targeted an investment of Rs 8.5 lakh crore over the next five years and that should augur well for the industry as a whole.

When you execute a project in any state it is essential that the state governments also participate because they are also a party to the whole project and the spin-offs thereof. So, participation from the state governments can definitely be looked at.

The only thing is that the project has to be of interest to the state, it has to be advantageous to the state. I would expect that states would come forward and help out in projects which are good for them.

26Feb

Rail Budget 2015-16 India Update : Prabhu’s 5-yr, Rs 8.5L crore investment plan for Railways

Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu, in his Budget speech today, outlined an ambitious capital expenditure target of Rs 8.5 lakh crore over the next five years.

“Any organization must address short-term priorities without glossing over the long-term and medium-term vision,” Prabhu said. “As Vinoba Bhave once said, “You will stumble if you look close to your heels and would certainly fall if you ignore the vision of the long road.”

Prabhu said the Budget was part of a trilogy of documents that charts out the Railways’ vision for the future:

“The first in the series is the White Paper that has been placed today for the information of the House. The second part is today’s Budget for the year 2015-16. This will be followed by a Vision-2030 document that we intend to bring out later this year,” he said.

“The proposals contained in this Budget should, therefore, be seen as the beginning of a Five Year Action Plan to transform the Railways,” he added.

26Feb

Rail Budget 2015-16 India Update : Pledge to re-invigorate Railways, says Suresh Prabhu

Railway Budget has focussed on issues like safety, increasing quota for senior citizens, said minister Suresh Prabhu.

In a post-Budget interaction with the media, Prabhu said a sum of Rs 6,581 crore has been approved to remove around 3,500 level-crossings. He said the ministry has rationalised freight rates in terms of classification.

Stating that Railways cannot depend on sole source of gross budgetary support, Prabhu said the government is looking at various options to raise money. “A large government organisation has committed Rs 20,000-crore investment in Railways, besides we are also in talks with the World Bank for funding.

26Feb

Rail Budget 2015-16 India Update : Rail Budget lacks vision, road map to execute ideas: Cong

Opposition on Thursday attacked the first full-fledged Railway Budget of the BJP-led NDA government saying it lacked vision and road map to execute the “nice ideas it is full of”. Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge and TMC’s Dinesh Trivedi, both of whom are also former Railway Ministers, slammed the Budget for lacking in substance and merely “weaving dreams”.

“It’s a nicely-worded Budget speech. But there is no vision as to how he is going to achieve goals. The minister says he will get into PPP model, BoT agreements, etc. If you depend on others, you are unlikely to meet your targets,” Kharge told reporters outside Parliament. Trivedi, who has at times gone against his party’s line in praising the government, was also disdainful for the Budget, saying it has woven a dream for people but lacks plan to fulfil it.

“It’s like saying I will go to moon. It’s an idea, a dream but what is important is how are you going to reach there. It’s all about future but your finances presently suffer from almost 50 per cent shortfall. How are you going to meet the gap,” he told reporters. Trivedi, who was Railway Minister in UPA government and had to quit due to his party’s opposition to his reform measures, went on to say that it was not a Budget but just an idea.

“I see Railways going the Air India way. Its coffers are empty,” he said. Senior BJD leader Tathagata Satpathy also attacked the Railway Budget, calling it hollow and disappointing. He said he would give only 2 out 10 points to it. “It’s completely hollow. He (Prabhu) spoke of an idea but that idea has not been enunciated, meaning not much thought has gone behind it,” he told PTI. Kharge also criticised Prabhu’s decision to not announce new trains, saying development is not static like stagnant water.

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