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Assocham calls the Rail Budget 2013 as 'please-all' budget
Welcoming the thrust on safety and fiscal discipline in the Railway Budget 2013-14, industry body FICCI said that the key to moving forward will be execution of the projects announced by the railways minister Pawan Kumar Bansal in his budget speech. This year's Rail Budget reflects the difficult economic scenario and contains several proposals which, if implemented, would set a growth multiplier in motion.

Besides a number of new rail-based factories and workshops to be set up (for instance wheel factory in Rae Bareli, coach manufacturing unit in Sonepat, wagon maintenance workshop in Kalahandi, among others), construction contract to cover up to 1,500 km on the two dedicated freight corridors are proposed to be awarded this year.

"This would be a very positive development and tendering should be done quickly,” Dr. Didar Singh, Secretary General, FICCI said in a statement.

Another industry body Assocham termed the rail budget as 'please-all' budget. Calling it a ‘soft Rail Budget’, Assocham said that in its efforts to please all sections of the society, the government has missed yet another opportunity for effective corporatization of Indian Railways to ensure viable commercial operations.

“Capacity constraints of Indian Railways remains the primary issue to be addressed more so, in wake of the mounting pressure on passenger and freight services and the Rail Budget could have put more focus on this aspect,” said Rajkumar Dhoot, Assocham's President.

“While linking of freight charges to the fuel prices seems logical, at the same time the government must also improve the operating ratios and resist from affecting the competitiveness of India Inc by passing on its inefficiency,” added Assocham chief.

Confederation Indian Industries (CII) also hailed the railway budget, “The emphasis of the Railway Minister on financial viability and fiscal discipline of the Railways is most reassuring and a welcome direction. Financial discipline, safety and passenger amenities are inherent to the health and condition of this mode of transport, which is availed by the common man and the Minister has paid due attention to each,” said Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, CII.

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