PHDC Critical, CII Polite, Ficci Pleased

New Delhi, Jan 30: | Updated: Jan 31 2004, 05:30am hrs
The interim Railway budget has evoked a mixed response from the industry. While the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci) and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) have welcomed it, PHD chamber of commerce and industry has criticised it saying the announcements have failed to rise above the short-term focus.

Reacting critically to the interim budget, Phdc president Ravi Wig said given the fact that Railways is the only high capacity transport mode that can meet the long-term needs of the economy, but the the budget has not done much to rise above the short-term focus in announcing new initiatives. Strategic measures to bypass the phase of a historic railway decline and entry into a renewed growth phase are missing in the announcements.

CII president Anand Mahindra said the proposals are user friendly and development oriented. The five-pronged focus on efficiency, including replacement, renewals and de-bottlenecking, security, safety, connectivity and passenger convenience, would enable the Railways to provide a fillip to growth and development of the economy, Mr Mahindra added.

Ficci president Yogendra Kumar Modi said, the initiatives taken by the railway minister are commendable. It is heartening that the operating efficiency of the Railways has increased resulting in lower expenses and leaving additional resources with the minister which can be passed on to the consumer in form of betterment of railway services and higher safety.

Indo-American Chamber of Commerce president V Rangaraj complimented the railway minister for setting an ambitious but achievable freight loading target of 570 million tonne for 2004-05 and taking measures for improving the passenger traffic.