Rail Budget: NDA govt's pragmatism over populism

Written by Express news service | New Delhi | Updated: Jul 9 2014, 16:12pm hrs
Rail BudgetRail Budget: NDA govt puts safety and passenger amenities on top
In a marked departure from past Rail Budgets, the NDA government, in its first year, has refrained from announcing a bouquet of sops, focussing instead on measures like private investments both domestic and foreign.

Here are announcements by Rail Minister Sadananda Gowda to bring the Indian Railways back on track:

DECRIES mismanagement, populism of previous

budgets; takes hard look at health; urges immediate course correction.

DECLINES to announce new projects; says only 1 of 99 new line projects sanctioned in last 10 years is complete; the more projects we add, the thinner we spread our


PUTS safety and passenger amenities on top, says

available resources must go to high-priority areas like safety..., improving amenities and services, with high emphasis on cleanliness.

New revenue streams

UNREALISTIC to expect fare and freight rate hikes will be enough to raise funds;

internal revenue sources, govt funding too insufficient.

RLY PSUs: Financially sound; to bring in investible surplus funds in Rlys infrastructure projects.

PRIVATE INVESTMENT: In rail infrastructure through both domestic route, FDI; seeking Cabinet approval for FDI in rail.

PPP: To be pursued; to

finance most future projects.

OTHERS: Aspects of railway planning and mobilisation to be managed strategically.