Chambers hail Railway Budget 2008-2009

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Chennai, Feb 26 (UNI) Various chambers including Federation of Indian Export Organistion (FIEO), Madras Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI), Andhra Chamber of Commerce, The Southern India Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI) and Sindhi Chamber of Commerce today hailed the Railway Budget for 2008-2009.

FIEO, in a statement, said establishment of 20,000 km high density network for iron ore and coal, bulk handling terminals for food grains and cement, launching of 48 new containers depot and private investment for loading in terminals would give a boost to investment in railway infrastructure, which was need of the hour.

A MCCI release said the operating ratios, the increase in revenues, the higher number of passengers and steep rise in freight charges indicated the Railways play a vital part in the Indian economy and do it extremely well.

''The chamber like to appreciate the capability of an organisation that employs 1.6 million people and generates a cash surplus of Rs 25,000 crore,'' the statement added.

''Announcement of new wagon leasing policy, more bulk handling terminals, increase in container train operations, special focus on door to door and value added services were in the right direction to match the growing industrial scenario in the country,'' Andhra Chamber of Commerce said in its statement.

Proposal for installation of touch screen monitors in all stations, linking trains via information technology and telecommunications and printing of expected arrival time on tickets were all welcome measures to upgrade Railway services, the release added.

SICCI in its statement said the introduction of strategic business unit in the Railway Board would give more professionalism and will set a benchmark.

The five per cent cut in the freight rate on petrol and diesel was a gesture.

UNI SNR AJ 1814

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