Rail Budget: No hike in passenger fares; freight rates cut
Mamata Banerjee kept her populist promises leaving passenger fares unchanged in Rail Budget 2010-11.
New Delhi: Union Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday presented a populist Rail Budget for 2010-11 fiscal by leaving the passenger fares untouched, cutting the freight charges of grain and kerosene, and announcing 52 new long distance trains. The Budget also proposed enhanced cooperation with the private sector to expand the world’s second largest railway network.
In her 110-minute speech in the Lok Sabha, the minister said “social responsibility” is the motto of the Railways rather than economic viability, and added she did not want to “impose any burden” on the citizens.
"Therefore, I do not propose any increase in passenger fares of any class or category of trains. Similarly, I do not intend to increase freight tariff," Banerjee said.
She further ruled out privatization of the railways, but said the expansion of the PSU could be undertaken through public-private partnership (PPP) mode.