Madras Chamber welcomes the railway budget and its various proposals. We note with satisfaction the attempt to address the core issues regarding the revenue augmentation and improving the operating ratio. Modernising the railways by introducing technology at all levels is a welcome step. Similarly introducing flexi freight for return freight is an innovative measure. Bringing in FDI and PPP mode for infrastructure is a progressive measure. Focus on safety and improving passenger amenities is a well recognized need. Thrust on Port connectivity and modernizing the logistics with the view on enhancing freight traffic is again a positive step. Diamond quadrilateral for high speed trains and introduction of bullet trains will take Indian Railways to the 21st Century.

While the Chamber is happy that there is no populist announcements which mostly remain only on paper, one disappointment of us is that there is no mention about setting up the Railway Tariff Authority which would ensure transparency of both Passenger and Freight fare fixing.

Chennai
8th July, 2014

T.Shivaraman
President


Madras Chamber of Commerce & Industry is aware that the current Railway budget  is only an interim budget which can be taken up in detail after the new Government is formed.  

The Chamber welcomes a few measures and has its concerns on the financial health of the Railways which will have an impact on the actions to be taken for the improvement of services.

The Chamber welcomes

    Independent Rail Tariff Authority set-up to advice on fixing of fares and freight, to engage all stake-holders as over the years, it will bring down cross subsidization
    The Passenger Friendly initiatives and the Green Initiatives are appreciable if the intent is translated into action.


The Chamber’s Concerns

    The decline in both Passenger and Freight earning is a crisis that has not been addressed.
    The Operating ratio is very high and not a healthy indicator .
    The firm stance of FDI in railways is missing although it may be for the new government to take a call.
    The cross subsidy of passenger fare from Freight needs to be corrected urgently
    The minor measures given for improvement of safety and security cannot provide guarantee for fire break outs and this should have been addressed keeping in mind the various fire accidents in the recent past

Chennai
12th February, 2014

T.Shivaraman
President
September 2019
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