K'taka trade bodies welcome Rly Budget

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Bangalore, Feb 26 (UNI) Trade bodies in Karnataka today welcomed the Railway Budget saying the operating ratio of 76 per cent and cash surplus of Rs 25,000 crore were progressive in nature.

A release from Federation of Karnataka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FKCCI) called it as an 'Aam-Admi' Budget and said reduction in freight rates for petrol and diesel, passenger fares, leasing of wagons and PPPs would help increase revenues.

Bangalore Chambers of Industry and Commerce (BCIC) welcomed initiatives like PPP for attracting investments, leveraging telecom for modernisation, multi-departmental innovation and 'Vision 2025.' The Railways could meet the demand for increased capacity and speed if the East West Corridor Project was completed at the earliest, it said.

Meanwhile, Pro-Kannada Activist Vatal Nagaraj expressed deep disappointment over Railway Minister Lalu Prasad 'ignoring' the interests of Karnataka in the Railway infrastructure sector.

Mr Prasad had turned a 'blind-eye' to the demands of the State and neither sanctioned enough funds for ongoing projects nor taken up a single project of laying new lines.

There was no other choice but to launch a state-wide agitation, he said.

Echoing the sentiments of the Members of Parliament from the State, KPCC President Mallikarjuna Kharge said the Budget was not upto the expectations of the people of Karnataka.

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

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