Railway Budget 2012: No fare hike; safety cess likely

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Railway Budget 2012
New Delhi, Mar 14: The Railway Budget 2012 will be announced by Union Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi in Parliament on Wednesday. There are also reports that passenger fare will be hiked in lieu of the massive financial crunch the Indian Railways to face. As per sources, there are also proposals to impose a safety cess, that will not be considered a fare hike.

There are also chances that an additional amount titled Union Government Development Surcharge will be levied. [Railway Budget 2012: LIVE Updates]

For all those who were expecting newer trains in several routes, they are likely to be disappointed with reports coming out that new trains are not likely to be announced.

There are also reports that a new premium scheme on reservation for a confirmed berth is likely to be announced. As per reports the focus in this year's Railway Budget is focusing on modernisation, infrastructural overhaul and the dedicated freight corridor.

The key budget recommendations will take into account the Sam Pitroda report and Kakodkar report.

With any indication of a fare hike hurting the aam aadmi, any attempt to revive the Railways from the financial mess it is in, will receive the support of the common man even at the cost of a fare hike. Railway Board Chairman Vinay Mittal has been quoted as saying, the need is to "consolidate rather than expand."

Speaking about the possibility of a fare hike, he added, "Even if you have a fare hike, the question is how much can you do? Poorest poor have certain affordability. Even if you hike it, it can bolster the revenue up to a certain extent. The government has a duty to them."

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