Interim rail budget, an instance of 'better said than done'

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New Delhi, Feb 12: The Interim rail budget this year is crucial, not because it is likely to introduce some new trains and schemes, but also because it is the first challenge that newly appointed rail minister Mallikarjun Kharge has to face.

With a depriciating reveue from passenger and freight fares, it would be nothing less than a challenge to give it a boost, keeping public interest in mind.

According to reports, the passenger earnings have projected a decline during April-December 2013. Freight earnings have gone down by Rs 850 crore and the passenger revenues have gone down by Rs 4,000 crore.

The public has pinned its hope in this budget, let's see whether the Centre manages to meet their expectations in its last lap.

Highlights

12:12 pm: Budget ends

12:10 pm: The budget presentation ended in exactly 20 minutes in which the minister highlighted the past achievements of the railway ministry.He also highlightedthe targets that the railway ministry achieved.

Few of them included electrification of 4,556 kilometers visa vie a target of 4,500 kilometers; increasing carriages to 64,875 visa vie a target of 62,000; Increasing diesel engines to 1,228 visa vie a target of 1,019.

Some of the achievements also included converting 510 kilometers of meter gauge to broad gauge line. Meghalaya is also likely to be on the railway map this year. Three new railway factories have also been introduced.

Responding to the complaints regarding the safety of passengers from fire, the ministry has decided to introduce multi-layered electric circuit and induction-based cooking, instead of LPG gas.

He also said that the railway bore the RS 1 lakh crore due to the additional burden of the 6th pay commission.

12:05 pm: Presenting the expenses for the first four months of the railways, minister Kharge says that the railways would stand "upright" even in financial difficulties. He also speaks of the developments done in railways in the last year.

12:00: Lok Sabha session begins, the railway minister is likely to be presented the interim rail budget now.

11:40 am: Railway minister reaches Parliament

11:25 am: Railway Minister leaves for the Parliament from the Rail Bhavan, as he poses in front of the photographers with the 'briefcase', which has the rail budget documents.

As the budget presentation ended unexpectedly, amid roars of 'We want AP', it still remains unclear as to what the ministry targets to achieve. Though Kharge said that he has tabled the budget, nothing significant was read out in these 20 minutes.

In New Delhi

Railways Minister Mallikarjun Kharge with Minister of State Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury talks to the media at Parliament House after presenting the interim rail budget in the Lok Sabha.

In New Delhi

Railways Minister Mallikarjun Kharge with Minister of State Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury talks to the media at Parliament House after presenting the interim rail budget in the Lok Sabha.

In New Delhi

Railways Minister Mallikarjun Kharge with Minister of State Kotla Jayasurya Prakasha Reddy arrives at Parliament House to present the interim rail budget in the Lok Sabha in New Delhi

In New Delhi

TDP members protest for united Andhra Pradesh at Parliament House during the extended winter session in New Delhi on Wednesday.

In New Delhi

Members in the Lok Sabha during the extended winter session in New Delhi on Wednesday.

In New Delhi

Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar in the Lok Sabha during the extended winter session in New Delhi on Wednesday.

In New Delhi

Congress MPs from Telangana region shouting slogan at Parliament House during the extended winter session in New Delhi on Wednesday.

In New Delhi

Union Minister of State for Human Resource Development Daggubati Purandeswari interacts with media at Parliament House during the extended winter session in New Delhi on Wednesday.

In New Delhi

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath addressing the media at Parliament House during the extended winter session in New Delhi on Wednesday.

In New Delhi

A scene of the Lok Sabha during the extended winter session in New Delhi on Wednesday.

In New Delhi

Congress MP Jayanthi Natarajan with Samajwadi Party leaderJaya Bachchan at Parliament House during the extended winter session in New Delhi on Wednesday.

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