Lalu tabled 'Chak De India' budget
Wooing the ordinary public, Union Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav has announced an election budget citing ‘Chak De Railways’ today in the Lok Sabha. Railway Minister has announced his budget in Hindi language in his own matchless style for which he is well known in the world.
Citing his budget, Lalu Prasad announced several surprising packages for the entire category. He reduced the fare prices in both passenger trains and elite group trains while in freight category, he announced to cut prices in the freight carrier. Students, Women and Senior Citizens have got the bonanza offers, while also satisfied the industrialists and businesspersons.
Railway Minister has awarded to all the masses covering, common public, railway employees, Industries and business classes sectors.
Tabling his budget in his innovative and classic style Railway minister introduced himself by citing an Urdu poem, “Sab kah rahe hain hum ne gazab kiya hai. Karodon ka munafa har ek sham diya hai. Phal salon mein ab dega paudha jo lagaya hai. Seva ka smaran ka hamne farz nibhaya hai," The inference of his citation is ‘The tree that we have planted will be fruitful in the years and will give fruits every years’.
"We are scoring goal after goal in every match. Every child in the country will now say 'Chak De Railway'”, Lalu said proud fully. He claimed that Railway has earned 21 percent revenue in its long prideful history of independent India.
This year, Railways has earned historically Rs.25,000 crore gross profit before distributing the dividend in the comparison of Rs.20,000 crore for the last fiscal, as Lalu said during presenting his budget in Lok Sabha. As much as Railway has earned a total margin of Rs. 68,778 crore in the last four years since Lalu has seated the Railway’s top seat.
In his announcement, Lalu has reduced Re 1 in all local trains running within 50-km circuit while beyond 50-km circuit he has reduced 5% fare in the local and passenger trains.
He has also cut the fare price up in sleeper, 2nd AC and First class by reducing 5%, 4% and 7% respectively. However, this reduction will be half in more popular trains and in on-peak session. He has also announced to provide free pass to girls students up to graduation level, while it was earlier only for the 12th standard girls students. The Boys students up to 12th standard will also get the pass, which was earlier available for 10th class students.
Women Senior Citizen will now get more subsidy as against earlier, now they will get 50% margin as against 30% earlier.
In the freight charges, Railway Minister Yadav has provided an addition 5% discount for carrying patrols and diesel goods viewing the surging prices of crude oil in the international market. This will heal the industries and automobile sectors up to some extent.
Railway is targeting to achieve 1100-million tonnes of landmark till 2011, if the increasing speed continues like this.
An estimated sum of Rs.75,000 crore will be invested in the next seven years to expand line capacity on identified routes covering 124 works of doubling, third and fourth lines for achieving the required capacity for carrying an additional 310 million tonnes.
Minister Yadav has also announced to construct bye-passes, flyovers, crossing stations, intermediate block stations, automatic signaling works and yard re-modelling in the next seven years.
For awarding Railway gatekeepers, Lalu has announced to include them as an IV th class employee. While also awarded SC/ST candidates as giving some special quota in the IV class job.
Highlights of the Budget:
• Reduction in passenger fares in Rail Budget 2008;
• Five percent discount in second-class ordinary, mail and express fares
• AC first class fares by seven percent and AC-two tier by four percent.
• No across the board increase in freight rates
• Five percent reduction in freight for petrol and Diesel
• Six percent freight concession for North-East bound goods
• Ten New Garib Raths to be introduced; Fifty three new trains proposed
• Three hundred additional services for Mumbai Sub-Urban
• Women Senior Citizen’s concession hiked to fifty percent
• Girls to get Free Monthly Season Tickets up to graduation level
• Fifty percent concession for AIDS patients traveling for treatment
• New initiatives in improving ticketing; Big increase in ticketing counters
• E-ticket facility extended to wait listed passengers
• Rail ticket on “Go Mumbai Card” for Mumbai Suburban
• Multi pronged scheme to strengthen Rail Safety
• CCTVs and screening devices to be installed as part of integrated security plan.
• One time exercise of appointing Railway Porters working on stations as gangmen and other Group D posts after due screening.
• Increase in Unreserved Ticketing Systems counters to 15,000 and ATVMs to 6000
• Minorities welfare cells to be opened at Railway Board and Zonal Railways.
• Mother-Child Health Express to be run on a pilot basis at concessional fares in collaboration with Rajiv Gandhi Foundation for providing medical facilities to mother and child.
• A new rail coach factory to be set up in Kerala.
• A new wagon re-construction unit to be set up at Garkha in Chapra District
• Modernisation and development of Workshops at Jamalpur, Lilluah, Perambur and Ajmer
• Taking over of Mokama and Muzaffarpur wagon factories
• Setting up of a 1000 MW thermal power plant, a joint venture of Indian Rail Bijli Company Ltd. with NTPC, at Nabinagar District of Auragabad, Bihar
• Northern Railway Central Hospital at Delhi to be made centrally air-conditioned
• Two divisional hospitals at Jaipur and Hubli to be upgraded to central hospitals
• A new divisional hospital at Ranchi and an OPD block at Integral Coach Factory to be constructed
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