The Rail Minister Mr.Pawan Kumar Bansal has increased the rail passenger fares and freight charges under the disguise of fuel surcharge to meet the rising cost of diesel, which has put extra financial burden of Rs.3,300 crores. The railways are running in loss of Rs.22,000 crores. He stated travel trains are business of loss while the earning is from goods trains.
The number of passenger trains going up constantly with ever increasing demands for it. The railways should always be in sound financial position. The minister right in his opinion the railways are commercial concern and can not survive as charitable undertaking. Many rail products are held up for want of funds. In the budget funds are provided for 347 such projects. The railways will collect fuel surcharge on every ticket and freight from April 1. It will enhance Rs.10 in sleeper, Rs.30 in AC-3, Rs.40 in AC-2, Rs.50 in AC-1 and 5 per cent hike in freights. The Railways will collect Rs.14,260 crores on fares and Rs.18,000 crores on freight by way fuel surcharge. It will be calculated on twice in a year.
He also sounded that to keep the rail system on rail, the 5 and 6 per cent increase in fares and freight must be carried out every year. Mr.Bansal has took over the Rail Ministry four months back. Last month in January as pre-budget measures he has already enhanced the fares and freights by 21 per cent from 22nd January to generate the income of Rs.6600 crores of rupees. The Planning Commission has provided Rs.5.6 lakh crores during the 12th Plan period to railways for development. This year the railways will earn Rs.32,000 crores. It will meet the deficit of Rs.750 crores from its own resources. Mr.Bansal said that the railways have repaid the special grant of Rs.3,000 crores to the Central Government and it do not need such special grant any more.
For freight corridor the Railways will seek loans from the World Bank. The minister announced setting up of 22 new rail lines, 67 new express and 27 passenger trains. Two of the new train the Dadri-Sikanderabad and Durg-Jaipur will pass through the Madhya Pradesh. On a prime issue of women safety the ministry announced to raise the 8 special women companies of the Railway Protection Force (RPF).
For the first time in the history of Parliament the presentation of Rail Budget was abandoned in mid-way and the minister Mr.Bansal laid the rest of his budget speech on the table of House to be considered as laid and read out. The opposition members have created such a noisy and ugly scenes that it was not possible for the Speaker to conduct the proceedings any more. She adjourned the House. On President’s address, Railway and General Budgets enough time is provided for discussion and members express their views. It is senseless and highly objectionable acts of some members to disrupt the House on its presentation stage. The Parliament should take strict action even of expulsion against such undeserving members.
Founder : Late Shri Ramgopal Maheshwari