TCI terms Railway Budget as mixed bag for passengers, logistics
Bangalore, Feb 26 : Travel Corporation of India today said the Railway Budget 2013-14 has been a mixed bag for both passengers and the logistics sector.
In his reactions Mr Vineet Agarwal, Joint Managing Director, TCI said the Railway minister deserves special kudos for continuing with modernisation drive despite the Finance Ministry clearly hinting spending cuts across various sectors.
"The move, we believe, will go a long way in re-instating the faith of passengers and India inc. in the Indian Railways as a safe, comfortable and reliable mode of transportation," he said.
He said TACI welcomes the decision of the Ministry to appoint a Freight Regulator to decide on freight rates. This will lead to justified freight rates thus giving boost to PPP projects by encouraging investment by private players in the logistics sector.
The ambitious target of Rs 1 lakh crore through PPP in rail projects under 12th plan is also very encouraging and shows government's commitment to modernise the sector despite fund crunch.
However, he said no announcement to introduce high speed trains has come as a disappointment for the logistics sector that has absymal record when it comes to timely delivery of goods and services. We hope that the continuous push to electrification, gauge conversion and new lines will make the railways and the logistics sector efficient.
"We are hopeful that the move to improve connectivity with ports and mines will bode well for India Inc as it will ensure easy availability of raw materials for industries and boost trade, he said.
Introduction of dynamic fuel surcharge that may lead to 5% rise in the freight price is a major dampener for the logistics sector that has already seen hike in freight rates recently by railways and due to diesel price de-regulation. No announcement to develop multi-modal logistics parks has also come as a major dis-appointment for us and we expect the government to take measures towards creation of the same in due course of time, Mr Agarwal added.