Mumbai, Feb 26 (UNI) Giving a fillip to infrastructure, the fifth Railway budget presented in the Lok Sabha by Railways Minister Laloo Prasad Yadav today invoked positive reactions from the industry with the Sensex of the Bombay Stock Exchange, gaining 155.62 points to close firm at 17,806.19.
The market pared gains in late trade after touching a fresh intra-day high in mid-afternoon trade after Mr Prasad provided thrust on modernising rail infrastructure.
Industry captains described the budget as futuristic and investment oriented and lauded the efforts made by the Indian Railways in managing its rolling stock efficiently to move 790 million tonnes of freight besides improving its oeprating ratio and achieving rs.25,000 crore profit.
Various industry associations also opined that wagon leasing policy would help private container operators, but wanted the Railways to rationalise container haulage in short and empty running, further it is important for railways to enhance on time management, that is to commit transit time guarantee to operators if they have to compete in totality with road to increase rail share.
Siemens India Director V Parulekar, in his comments, said the investments in infrastructure including dedicated freight corridors, Locomotives, new design wagons would provide additional opportunities for the industry. The Public Private Partnership projects would benefit from the operational efficiencies of private sector and domain expertise of the Railways.
Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) President G K Gupta complimented the Railway Minsiter for investing Rs,75,000 crore in seven years for expansion and modernisation of freight routes as well as linking of railway nework to major ports for augmenting supply chain efficiency.
Construction of East-West Corridor with finalisation of Ludhiana-Kolkata and Delhi - JNPT Corridors was expected to avoid congestion and increase efficiency of delivery.
The decision to import wagons to bridge the gap between supply and demand was most pragmatic in view of domestic production not meeting the increasing demand said Mr Gupta who urged the minister to allow private freight operators to transport all commodities instead of few listed, which was hampering the growth of private operators and their investment.
The decision of the Railway ministry to consider the proposal to connect Dighi Port by railways was welcomed by its director Vishal Kalantri.
UNI team/VK OBB SYU VC2045