is unlikely to turn around quickly, and investment in the sector will languish," she said.
PwC's Agarwal said, "The absence of a long-term vision is not necessarily a bad thing, considering the country is heading towards general elections. The appeal to states to participate in rail projects is an important one as the Centre-state SPV route has the ability to get projects up the priority list where the state is willing to participate, and can be game-changer".
But he said there is no clear readiness to adopt the PPPs model in the budget document. "The biggest disappointment is the absence of even a mention of land monetisation, which probably indicates that concerns around a transparent model for land deals continue to remain," he said.
D R Dogra of rating agency Care gave a mixed view saying as expected, the rail budget was conservative given the resource constraints.
"Given this limitation, the Minister tried to strike a balance between bringing about certain investments in improving the structures while balancing the budget. This will mean several initiatives in terms of safety enhancement, additional connectivity, tracks, tech improvements, etc. This could to a certain extent have a positive impact on various sectors such as cement, steel, engineering, construction, etc," Dogra said.
However, he warned that the increase in freight rates which would be linked with the diesel price movements could add to inflation.
On the sharp decline in stock markets, he said "the market did not react positively for two reasons. The first is that it was expected to be an innovative budget that would give direction to specific industries, which has not materialised.
"Second, the potential increase in freight rates would hike not just the cost of transport of railway traffic, but also add to inflation."