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Railway Budget 2015: Less on populism, more on substance

Mumbai-LocalKeen to bring in fundamental changes in the manner in which Indian Railways operates, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu may abandon the populist path in Rail Budget 2015.

Sources, Monday, said that the NDA government’s second Railway Budget (2015-16) will stay away from populist announcements and focus on improving passenger amenities and railway safety.

And, Prabhu appears to mean business. Within two months of taking charge at the Rail Bhavan, he has already set up seven committees to work on critical areas like improving financial health of organisation, bringing transparency, revenue generation and re-structuring of the Indian Railways.

Funding the already announced major railway projects will be one of the key focus areas in the budget and the government is keen on improving and completing the existing projects rather than announcing new ones. However, shortage of funds remains a concern.

The Railway Ministry has also sought suggestions from industry chambers – FICCI, ASSOCHAM, CII – and even the general public on the upcoming budget.

Recently, Suresh Prabhu had taken a major policy decision by empowering zonal railways and heads of production units to finalise tenders. The change in approach is expected to ensure faster decision-making and may lead to faster implementation of projects.

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