New Delhi, 26 February 2015: Welcoming the Railway Budget 2015-16, FICCI Secretary General Dr A. Didar Singh said “it is a forward-looking, pragmatic and strategy-oriented budget with an innovative approach. We are confident, the proposed measures and initiatives, if executed and implemented effectively, will go a long way to restore the prime place for railways in our national economy”.
…..Hon’ble Minister has correctly focused on building partnerships, leveraging additional resources, revamping management practices, systems & processes, and setting standards for much-needed governance and transparency. In particular, very clear and lucid articulation of 4 goals, 5 drivers and 11 thrust areas of action plan reflect a smart thought process” – Dr A Didar Singh
It is encouraging to see that the rail budget has envisaged an investment of Rs 8.5 lakh crore in next five years that would be mobilized from sources such as multilateral development banks and pension funds. Also commendable is the strategy for leveraging partnership with States, PSUs, private sector and other stakeholders towards gaining access to long-term financing & technology, improving last mile connectivity, expanding fleet of rolling stock and building railway infrastructure and modernizing station development.
“Besides putting thrust on better passenger amenities and safety, the budget has targeted operating ratio at 88.5% for 2015-16 as compared with 91.8% in 2014-15, and the best in last 9 years. Lower operating ratio would help in generating higher internal resources for meeting various requirements” said FICCI Secretary General.
Other notable measures include those meant for improving speed of 9 railway corridors and enhancing average speed of freight trains; improved cleanliness; greater connectivity to North-Eastern region and coastal areas; 1330% increase in railway electrification; setting up of transport logistics corporation of India towards expanding freight handling capacity and provide end-to-end logistic solutions; green initiatives including setting up of 1000 MW solar plants on railway/private land.