Kolkata, Feb 24 (UNI) All the major Chambers of Commerce here including the Indian Chamber of Commerce and the Bharat Chamber of Commerce, welcomed today's Railway Budget and described it as '' dynamic, well-balanced and business oriented''.
Reacting to today's railway budget proposals for 2006-07 as presented by Railway Minister Lalu Prasad in Parliament, ICC President and noted industrialist Umang Kanoria hailed the ''significant initiatives towards improving the competitiveness of the Railways with strong private-public partnerships.'' Welcoming the creating of a freight corridor at a cost of Rs 22,000 crores, Mr Kanoria hoped that this would lead to more efficient movement of cargo, imperative for competitiveness of Indian products. He also complimented the Railway minister for permitting private container trains and for encouraging private participation in the expansion of railway network.
Mr Kanoria was of the view that the long term freight discount scheme would attract more traffic and help in cost effective logistics management for Indian corporates.'' The(Railway)Budget has also provided several avenues for modernisation and technology upgradation and is aimed at improving the quality of service to the consumer,'' he remarked.
BCC President Santosh Rungta, also a well known industrialist, was more estatic in the Railway minister's proposal for not increasing the passenger fare and in providing '' adequate thrust on rationalisation in freight tariff fixation mechanism.'' '' Reduction in upper class fares is a step in the right direction and will help the Railways to face the steep competition by low cost Airlines,'' he opined.
Referring to the multi-pronged innovative freight policy, including the non peak season incremental frieght discount scheme, Mr Rungta said it '' is expected to attract more freight traffic to the Indian Railway system.'' '' The loyalty discount scheme to encourage higher railway tranportation of cement and iron and steel is equally welcomed,'' he said.
Among others Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) President Aloke Mukherjea also hailed the Railway minister's strong thrust to corporatisation efforts and public private partnership initiatives in the areas of containerisation, railway networking and development of passenger amenitities.
''What is to be complimented is that the Railway minister has balanced this objective while keeping in mind the social obligations of the Railways in a developing country like India,'' Mr Mukherjea said.
UNI ABA KK VD HS2107