K'taka trade bodies welcome rail budget

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Bangalore, Feb 26 (UNI) Trade bodies in Karnataka today welcomed the Railway budget presented by Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav in the parliament saying that the operating ratio of 76 per cent and cash surplus of Rs 25,000 was progressive in nature.

Federation of Karnataka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FKCCI), in a release here, said that the 'Aam-Admi' budget was also people friendly keeping the interest of the common man.

Reduction in freight rates for petrol and diesel, reduction of passenger fares, leasing of wagons and PPPs would benefit in raising revenues for the railways, it said.

Bangalore Chambers of Industry and Commerce (BCIC) said initiatives like PPP for attracting investments, leveraging of telecom boom for modernisation, multi-departmental innovation and coming out with Vision 2025 document was welcome.

The railways could meet the increasing demand for capacity and speed if the East and West corridor was completed at the earliest, it said.

Meanwhile, pro-Kannada activist Vatal Nagaraj expressed deep disappointment over the Railway minister ignoring the interests of Karnataka state in developing the railway infrastructure.

Mr Yadav had turned a blind bye to the demands of the people of the state and had not sanctioned enough funds to the ongoing projects while he had not taken up a single project of laying new lines.

There was no other go but to launch a statewide agitation, he said.

Echoing the sentiments of the Members of Parliament from the state in Delhi, KPCC President Mallikarjuna Kharge had said the rail budget was not upto the expectations of the people of Karnataka.

However, people friendly measures and focus on cleanliness and security was welcome factors, he said.

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