The emphasis of railway budget is definitely on passenger facilities, cleanliness, hygiene at Railway stations and in the trains and towards that the railway minister has announced many schemes including more bio vacuum toilets, quality and improved catering services. Special trains for general unreserved travelers would probably reduce pressure on trains. It is sad to note that the operating ratio is going to deteriorate. From 88 it has moved to 90 and further expected to touch 92%. That means more revenue is being eaten up for meeting expenses leaving less cash for development. With no increase in ticket fares and freight for infrastructure development more budgetary support required from government. The proposal for setting up of holding company to hold the assets of railways is a good move towards monetization of surplus assets. The railway minister did mention the monetization program to raise resources, this need to be implemented effectively. The setting up of 50 crores of start up fund for railway employees is indeed a novel idea but just setting up a fund is not enough , the plan to encourage employees to start up is more important. Construction of warehouses, cold storage facility near railway stations is a good commercial proposition and if implemented well will enhance cargo traffic and revenue. Long term freight contracts is also a good commercial proposition but needs a further proactive approach.
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