Rail Budget focuses on delivery not populism: ASSOCHAM

Mumbai :  Clearly spelling out the economic model of the Narendra Modi Government, the Railway Budget is banking heavily on involvement of the private investment- both domestic and overseas on modernization and a smart functioning of the country’s largest transport operator.

The emphasis is clearly on improving efficiencies, passenger amenities with promise to take them to global standards and the much-needed safety of passengers. The Railway Budget opens up vast opportunities for the public-private-partnership in a whole gamut of area, including cleanliness, upkeep of major stations like the airports, IT infrastructure. The strategy lies in trying to get the new businesses out of the sheer necessities and ordinary looking but important services such as catering.

Besides, a clear strategy has been spelt out to retrieve the Railways’ share in the freight movement. Though the freight movement gives over two-third revenue to the organisation, it had been neglected in the past. IT-driven parcel management and special trains for parcel movement for capitalizing on the growing e-commerce business is an intelligent move.

We are sure, that unlike in the past, the PPP models will attract a lot of private and overseas investment as the new government enjoys a great amount of credibility to deliver. For the first time perhaps, the Railways Minister’s Budget speech read like speech of a Rs 1,47,000 crore corporate which is wanting to go about servicing its customers.

The Railway Budget is a peek into the regular Budget to be presented by Finance Minister on July 10, which is expected to follow economic, rather than populist line.

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