Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu's railway budget has spared passengers and goods movement from any hike or tariffs.
Terming Railway Budget for 2016-17 as "growth-oriented", India Inc has said the three new freight corridors envisaged by 2019 will help reduce transportation costs, even as it described the revenue generation target of Rs 1.84 lakh crore as a "strong challenge".
What Chambers have to say?
"The focus on completion and implementation of projects is good. The creation of three new corridors will act as a catalyst for reducing the logistics cost," CII President Sumit Mazumder said. Presenting his second budget in the Lok Sabha, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu promised rationalising of the tariff structure by undertaking a review to evolve competitive rates vis-a-vis other modes of transport and to expand the freight basket as a means of additional revenue mobilisation. Revenue generation has been targeted at Rs 1.84 lakh crore.
"While we saw qualitative measures on freight like enhancing its basket we could have looked at more concrete measures," said Tilak Raj Seth Vice Chairman CII Rail Transportation & Equipment Division.
"The rationalisation of freight policy and review of PPP policy framework would help to attract private players for transforming rail transportation and increasing the revenue. Initiatives towards developing an integrated railway network, greater emphasis on dedicated freight corridors, and improving port connectivity as well as north-east connectivity would go a long way in expanding the freight business," Ficci President Harshvardhan Neotia said.
"Railway Minister has given a no-tariff hike budget without compromising on capital expenditure for increasing carrying capacity of both passengers and freight even in a challenging economic environment marked by a severe slowdown in the commodity sectors," Assocham President Sunil Kanoria said.