TN chambers give mixed reax to Railway budget

Industry bodies here on Wednesday gave a mixed reaction to the railway budget presented by Minister Dinesh Trivedi.

Chennai: Industry bodies here on Wednesday gave a mixed reaction to the railway budget presented by Minister Dinesh Trivedi.
Federation of Indian Export Organsations (FIEO) described he execercise as a `common man`s budget` but said increasing freight costs and cross subsidisation may impact the industry.
"As anticipated there has been marginal hike in passenger fares and no announcement in respect of freight rates as the hike in freight rates was announced earlier... besides the one in October 2011 for the busy season," FIEO president M
Rafeeque Ahmed said in a statement.

This `cross subsidization` with burdens skewed more and more towards freight was bound to impact industry severely and more so with mounting inflation and high interest rates, he said.

He however welcomed the decision to set up Independent Railway Safety Regulatory Authority and the focus on expansion and modernisation `which is need of the hour.`

The Sindhi Chamber of Commerce welcomed the proposals and said Trivedi had presented a "stabilizer budget which will cover the previous years` unfinished agenda."

"The Minister needs to be complemented for having only marginally increased the fares between 02 and 30 paise per km.

Taking into account that this increase is coming after about 10 years is a very very good step," Chamber president Daneshkumar N Chhabria said in a release.

Madras Chamber of Commerce and Industry welcomed the proposal for a terminal at Royapuram, the third in Chennai, saying it will help both passengers and freight movement.

"Plans to set up Indian Railways Stations Development Corporation and Logistics Corporation and proposals to bring down operational ratios will also help the Railway sector in the long run," it said in a statement.

MCCI also welcomed other announcements such as rail connectivity to Nepal and Bangladesh.

The focus on augmenting revenue along with rationalization of fares and improving infrastructure and efficiency was also the need of the hour, it said.

"However, the Chamber feels that the budget has a direct and indirect pressure on funds allocation and as a result it should not become a mere statement of intent..." MCCI said.


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