Bangalore, Feb 24 (UNI) The Bangalore Chamber of Industry and Commerce (BCIC) welcomed the various reform initiatives announced by Railway Minister Lalu Prasad in his Railway Budget for 2006-07 today.
In a statement here, BCIC President Anant R Koppar described as ''innovative'' the reforms initiated by the Minister with regard to proposals of public-private partnership in utilising the available railway infrastructure for freight movement. The move would prove the railways as a customer-friendly organisation. It would also help in improving the railway infrastructure optimally through better utilisation of existing rolling stock, he added.
He welcomed the move to introduce a loyalty discount scheme, by which during the non-peak season, if over 90 per cent of the production of any steel or cement factory was transported by rail, a discount of one per cent in freight would be given.
The 50 per cent concession for farmers in second class fare, reduction in price for First AC by 18 per cent, Second AC by ten per cent and introduction of long term freight discount scheme, Terminal Incentive Engine-on-load Scheme, Mini Rake and 2-point rake scheme and Freight Forwarder Scheme were encouraging moves towards revamping the railway system, Mr Koppar opined.
He also welcomed other proposals such as dynamic pricing policy where the rates for non-peak season, non-premium services and empty flow directions would be less than the general rates. This would help in facing a stiff tariff challenge posed by other modes of transports.
He appreciated the move to give priority to technological upgradation and modernisation in every field of railways working and providing modern facilities such as ATM and cyber cafes.
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