New Delhi: Although the lack of announcements of new trains remained one of the highliights of the Rail Budget 2015, Railway Minister of India Suresh Prabhu on Thursday said that new trains could be announced later in the session.
Speaking at Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) post his Rail Budget speech in Parliament, Prabhu said, "We decided not to announce new trains, (but we) may announce new trains later in the session."
Prabhu said that the government had tried to break fom the tradition and the long-term factors were taken into account while formulating the Rail Budget 2015.
"Budget is for a 5-year action plan, starting with year one," Prabhu added.
The Minister said that the expenditure side has been looked at for the first time and the focus was on policies all the way.
Other important points raised by the Railway Minister included:
- Will be looking to audit the functioning of Railways: Prabhu
- Open bidding system will be followed for infrastructure building purposes: Prabhu
- Hike in freight charges is very insignificant: Prabhu
- Railway will set up regulatory body to resolve dispute with companies: Prabhu
- Looking to make Railways a vibrant enterprise: Prabhu
- Improvement in operating ratio is linked to efficiency in spending: Prabhu
- Money is not a challenge: Prabhu
- Railways can get funds from pension funds: Prabhu
- Diesel costs have not been factored into the Rail Budget: Prabhu
- Accounting for diesel expenses will further reduce costs: Prabhu
Railway Minister spared the passengers by not hiking rail fares again but freight rates were raised in the Rail Budget 2015. Prabhu in his maiden budget annouanced a slew of measures to improve service quality, safety and reach.
He said ensuring higher standards of cleanliness is of utmost priority for Indian Railways and appealed citizens to keep it clean as it is their travelling home.