Ludhiana, February 26, 2013: Federation of Associations of Small Industries, India (FASII) president Badish Jindal has termed the Rail budget 2013-14 as “directionless and dummy budget”.
In a statement here on Tuesday, he added the Surcharge on freight, as proposed in the Budget, will drive states like Punjab to a very tight corner as such states depend upon railways for its raw materials, coal and export dispatches.
he said it is unfortunate that no benefit has been given to Punjab in the latest Railway Budget no new projects except a few local low profile trains. As such, there are no chances for improvement in the condition of Ludhiana railway station too.
“Last year, the freight rate was increased by 18% and again the freight rate has been increased to 5% in the latest Budget. This will escalate inflation as the prices of the commodities will go up”, he feared.
He said the average booking waiting list in Punjab is around 20 days. And still no new long route trains has been announced for departure from Punjab. Due to long waiting list, the passengers are forced to book their tickets well in advance and sometimes a good number of months before their journey. Under such circumstances, there are very high chances of cancellation of tickets. However, the increase in ticket-cancellation-charges will make the passengers to face the brunt. Same will the plight of the passengers with reference to the increase in Tatkal charges.
Granting another rail factory to Raeberally shows the motive of the minister. It is undoubtedly a political budget which shows a loss of Rs.24600 crores on the one hand and at the same time flaunting a proposal to create 1.52 lac new jobs.
The proposals announced show that the minister has just tried to give fantasies and dreams to the upper class, however, has not explained that from where the funds will flow in.
Alternatively, the Railway Minister has proposed to get an income of Rs. 4500 crores from scrap but already the railways has earned Rs. 3904 crores in the last year. So it will be a mere income of Rs. 600 crores only.
further, he said the Micro Budget railway figures are, indeed, shocking. The receipts of Railways have increased to around 19.23% during the first half of this financial year as compared to the same period of last financial year. The railway receipts have come around Rs. 78868 crores during 1st April 2012 to 30th November 2012 whereas during 1st April 2011 to November 2011 it was just Rs. 66150 crores.
Another spell of shock is that all the burden have been laid on goods-trains, as during the same period the railway receipts increased to Rs. 54487 crores from 43891 crores with an increase of 24.14% whereas the quantity of material just increased to 647.11 Million Tons from 618.05 Million tons with a minor increase of 4.7%. This shows that there is a direct increase of more than 18% in goods train freight.
adding, he said during the same period the increase in revenue from passenger trains rose to Rs.20423 crores from 18742 Crores with an increase of 8.97%.
Whereas during the same period the number of passengers increased to just 3.31% as the figures rose to 5700.57 millions from 5517.86 millions.
It is a known fact that huge corruption is involved in railways on purchases of materials for ticketing, he said, adding until and unless the ministry will not control this, the railway cannot come out with flying colours. Therefore, without doubt, it is just a negative and directionless budget as for as the Industry is concerned.