Rail Budget 2013-14: Reactions

The Railway Budget for 2013-14 today spared passengers from any further hike in fares but raised various other charges on tickets along with freight tariff of less than 5 per cent.

Presenting the Budget in the Lok Sabha, Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal, who had effected an across-the-board hike in passenger fares only last month, said he does not intend to pass on the impact of deregulation of diesel price for now and the Railways will absorb a burden of Rs 850 crore on account of this.

Some of the reactions to the rail budget were:

The Railway Budget is reformist and forward-looking. The Budget presents a realistic picture of railway finances.

-Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India

"The Railway Minister has presented a very responsible, practical and implementable budget. I think after many years, he (the Minister) has candidly stated the finances of the railways... I think it is a very commendable budget."

P.Chidambaram, Finance Minsiter

"I commend the Railway Minister for presenting a very practical, useful budget which will in the years to come really take care of the Railways through their own resources."

-Kapil Sibal, Telecom Minister

"Railway Minister has done a commendable job and kept a very fine balance. He  had been able to "reconcile various imperatives" while keeping the larger growth story of Railways in mind."

-Manish Tewari, Information and Broadcasting Minister

"Bansal has done a very good balancing job."

-Salman Khurshid, External Affairs Minister

"Now the government has introduced dynamic fuel adjustment component on freight rates that will result in a five per cent increase in rates. Any increase in freight rates is bound to push all round inflation in the country," he said.. The Railways suffer from the UPA's economic disorientation and financial mismanagement."

-Rajanth Singh, BJP President

"The Centre's railway budget is anti-development and showcases the non-performance of the government. It will increase the burden of rising prices on the common people."

-Narendra Modi, Gujarat CM

"This is not rail budget but Rae Bareli budget. This budget has not been prepared keeping in mind the whole country and this is the reason one could see an attempt to disrupt the budget presentation due to unrest among the MPs,"

-Gopinath Munde, BJP Leader

"I think is an ordinary budget. It lacks vision for the future," he said. "With the establishment of a National Tariff Commission the government has prepared an instrument to increase prices whenever the price of diesel or power is increased."

- Shahnawaz Hussain, BJP spokesperson

"The budget was uninspiring" and lacked any long-term perspective with regard to infrastructure development."

-Jayalalithaa, Tamil Nadu CM

"The Rail budget for 2013-14 is disappointing. On the one hand the government is claiming it did not raise fare but on the other hand other charges of tatkal and cancellation etc have been increased which will adversely hit the passengers. No new train has been given to Bihar despite the fact that it has maximum number of train travellers in the country. Besides, fund for past projects like Rail bridge over Ganga at Patna and Munger has also not been allocated."

-Nitish Kumar, Bihar CM

"Supplementary charges for super fast trains, besides increase in reservation fee, cancellation charge and tatkal charges will indirectly increase the passenger fare."

-Naveen Patnaik, Odisha CM

"Railway Budget disappointing. It will lead to price rise, burdening the common man."

-Jagadish Shettar, Karnataka CM

"The rail budget lays emphasis on security of commuters and providing facilities, it does not put additional burden of fares on the commoners and by looking at the current scenario, it is a balanced budget."

-Prithviraj Chavan, Maharashtra CM

"The railway budget is very, very pedestrian and a political budget aimed at the forthcoming general elections.The rail minister acknowledged that railway finances were not properly handled during the previous years which led to the present situation. The PM was listening. This PM had earlier said that the Budget is good, this year also he is saying the same thing irrespective of who the rail minister is."

-Yashwant Sinha, MP

"I have never seen such an anti-people budget in my political life.... This is a budget for Congress...You can give new trains for Rae Bareli (Lok Sabha constituency of Congress chief Sonia Gandhi), but don't ignore Bundelkhand and Poorvanchal."

-Mulayam Singh Yadav, SP Chief

"The poor and middle classes will not benefit much from it.... Fare has been hiked through backdoor."

-Mayawati, BSP Supremo

"People cannot be befooled by this hoodwinking exercise. Five per cent increase in rail freight charges would have cascading effect on inflation and crush the common man with escalating price rise."

- Sukhbir Singh Badal, Punjab Deputy CM

"The new rail budget will strengthen rail network in the country. Passengers will be benefited and developmental works in states would also go faster."

-Ashok Gehlot, Rajasthan CM

"Even though an elevated railway line has been announced for Mumbai and air-conditioned coaches in select local trains, a lot many expectations of the people have been left unfulfilled yet again. Railway minister P K Bansal has presented a totally disappointing railway budget. Like his predecessors, he has given step-motherly treatment to Mumbai suburban commuters."

-Ajit Pawar, Maharashtra Dy CM

"The budget will have cascading effect on prices and "none of its plans are likely to fructify."

-Sitaram Yechury, CPI(M)

This budget does not give any hope to the future of the railways."

- D Raja, CPI

Emerging story. Watch this space for updates as more details come in
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