Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday said that Railways was an area where the level of infrastructure expenditure must be expedited. The Finance Minister, while speaking at the event, said that while highways and ports have shown satisfactory results, infrastructure development needs to be hurried along. On the second day of FICCI’s 90th AGM in Delhi, he said, “Railways is one area where we need to hurry up with the level of infrastructure expenditure. Our expenditure on railway stations, quality of trains, superfast trains, bullet trains are areas which need to be strengthened.” Jaitley stressed that India is one of the biggest transport networks in the world but lacks in infrastructure and state-of-the-art equipment and engines for smooth functioning and serving the citizens of the country.
Moving on to one of the most critical new laws in the country, FM admitted being pleasantly surprised by the rollout aftermath. FM said, “I must confess that I had thought that after unified GST is implemented it will take a reasonable amount of time when collections move up that you’ll start rationalizing tariffs. Even I had not anticipated that we would be able to start rationalizing within 3-4 mnths.”
FM Jaitley then highlighted India’s positive placement among global economies, which has been the result of policymakers making critical decisions in the recent past. He said, “Even when the world was still in the slowdown phase and yet to take a curve for the better, India realised the importance of structural changes. India in 2017 has seen more structural changes taking place than anytime in recent past.”
As far as providing services to users is concerned, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal in an interview, filed by The Hindustan Times, recently spoke about the Indian Railways dynamic pricing and also on the government trying to modify the timings of trains to provide better service to the passengers. Goyal during the interview announced that the passengers will soon be paying less for popular train tickets for trains like Rajdhani, Shatabdi and Duronto during off seasons and when the trains are not fully booked.
Hon’ble FM @arunjaitley addressing the gathering on India’s financial landscape and the reforms progress at our 90th AGMhttps://t.co/76j29XFVPr
— FICCI (@ficci_india) December 14, 2017
Goyal also informed that the system is under review regarding ticket expenses and according to the minister it will be extremely popular with the passengers. The ministry is also trying to extend the departure timings of popular trains so that passengers traveling long distances have enough time to board the trains and reach work comfortably. Also, to make the Railways more attractive and approachable in goods trading, the ministry is looking towards availing refrigerated wagons for transporting farm produce. The attractive business approach was revealed by the minister during interview where the company can own a refrigerated wagon and only pay for utilizing it for transporting goods.