GOOD READS

Stage set for another railway budget

New Delhi, March 13 (IANS) With passenger fares unlikely to be hiked, Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi will present his maiden railway budget for 2012-13 Wednesday amid concerns over the financial health of the world's second largest network.

A cash strapped Indian Railways, which runs 10,500 trains and ferries 22 million passengers daily over 64,000 km of track, is looking at an earnings shortfall of Rs.7,000 crore.

Poor financial management has left Indian Railways staring at an earnings shortfall despite gross budgetary support of Rs.20,000 crore last year and a Rs.3,000 crore loan approved by the finance ministry Feb 6.

"It is an unprecedented situation," a senior railway official commented on condition of anonymity while describing the financial crisis.

Recently, two expert panels, headed by former Atomic Energy Commission chairman Anil Kakodkar and prime minister's adviser Sam Pitroda, said the railways would need around Rs.9 lakh crore over the next five years to follow the safety and modernisation road map suggested by them.

No one knows where the money will come from.

Passenger fares have been on a freeze since 2002-03 as Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee, a former railway minister, is opposed to hiking fares.

In the process, the railways has little money to expand the network. Trivedi is also a Trinamool man.

With 19 members in the Lok Sabha, the Trinamool Congress is a crucial ally of the Manmohan Singh-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) and has often shelved key reforms such as foreign equity in retail.

"Revision of passenger fares is long overdue. The railways need to invest in additional lines and build more rakes," former Railway Board chairman R.K. Singh told IANS.

What bothers the railways is the fact that its operating ratio now stands at 100 percent, up from 75 percent in 2008-09. This means every rupee generated is spent on running the network, with no room for expansion.

"All big projects are at a standstill. The railways are unable to maximise earnings," said Singh, adding there was no money left to address crucial areas like the renewal and replacement of existing assets and taking up further development projects.

Quiz: How well do you know India's economy?

Question 1

Which of these products is India the world's largest producer of?

Poll Choice Options
  • Wheat
  • Rice
  • Milk
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10

Latest News

  • BSE Sensex hits record high for third straight day

    The BSE Sensex and Nifty hit record highs for a third session in a row as infrastructure companies such as Larsen & Toubro extended recent gains while lenders including Yes Bank advanced on hopes the worst ... …

  • Sensex, Nifty at new highs; capital goods sector gains

    Mumbai, April 23 (IANS) A benchmark index of Indian equities markets touched a record high of 22,912.52 points Wednesday for the third straight day, surpassing the 22,853.03 points it touched Tuesday. ... …

  • Rupee falls for third day; foreign fund inflows key

    The rupee weakened for a third consecutive session on Wednesday, falling below the 61 to the dollar mark for the first time in more than a month, hurt by good demand for the greenback from importers and by continued weakness in Asian currencies. Most emerging Asian currencies fell as the Chinese yuan extended its recent decline to a 16-month low, while the Indonesian rupiah touched its weakest level in more than seven weeks due to increasing month-end dollar demand. It is likely revolve …

  • Procter & Gamble quarterly profit rises on home care sales

    Procter & Gamble Co , the world's largest household products maker, reported a higher quarterly profit on Wednesday, helped by an increase in sales of its home care products. Sales were unchanged at $20.6 ... …

  • HC pulls up Delhi chief secretary over water-logging

    New Delhi, April 23 (IANS) The Delhi High Court Wednesday pulled up the city chief secretary over water logging in the capital during the monsoon. A division bench of Chief Justice G. Rohini and Justice Pradeep Nandrajog slammed the city government, saying nothing was happening in the city as per the master plan. The court had summoned the chief secretary after the authorities failed to submit a report on short and long-term measures to tackle water-logging in the city. "We are living in an …

IN-DEPTH ANALYSIS & INTERVIEWS

  • This might well be India’s biggest Ponzi scam

    It was just too good to be true. Ashok Khital, 45, displays every symptom of a man who knows he's been conned. …

  • India's star studded football league

    High and mighty including Sachin, Salman & Sun Group buy ISL teams …

  • Leaderspeak with Rajesh Janey

    Rajesh Janey, President - India & SAARC, EMC shares many firsts in his life. …

  • Power Hungry

    Gujarat has power round-the-clock. Most other states do not. Why this will matter in the general elections. …

  • Etcetera

    The most keenly watched contest of the current general election will be the one for the Varanasi parliamentary seat, where the Bharatiya Janata Party's prime ministerial hopeful Narendra Modi squares off ... …

  • Economy vs Democracy

    As the country gets election fever, cash comes out of mattresses and turns into liquor, gifts, and food. But it is not bad for the health of the economy, reports Sarika Malhotra from the trenches. …

  • Bracing for Challenges

    Raghuram Rajan is preparing to deal with concerns that may arise when a new government takes charge. …

MARKET MOVERS

  • Most Actives
    Most Actives
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    16.52-0.33-1.96%
    UNITECH.BO
    14.31-0.27-1.85%
    SUZLON.BO
    120.40+7.00+6.17%
    FRL.BO
    66.05+4.10+6.62%
    MANGCHEM.BO
    54.40+1.65+3.13%
    HCLINFO.BO
  • Price % Gainers
    Price % Gainers
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    16.20+2.70+20.00%
    JAGSONPH.BO
    53.50+8.90+19.96%
    RUSHIL.BO
    40.45+6.45+18.97%
    RCIIND.BO
    63.95+8.90+16.17%
    MRPL.BO
    24.00+3.10+14.83%
    NELCAST.BO
  • Price % Losers
    Price % Losers
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    24.25-6.00-19.83%
    BMAL.BO
    13.26-2.24-14.45%
    ZYLOG.BO
    30.15-4.05-11.84%
    DRDATSONS.BO
    19.55-2.45-11.14%
    MARAL.BO
    121.50-13.50-10.00%
    POKARNA.BO
  •  
    Recent Quotes
    Symbol Price Change % ChgChart 
    Your most recently viewed tickers will automatically show up here if you type a ticker in the "Enter symbol/company" at the bottom of this module.
    You need to enable your browser cookies to view your most recent quotes.
  • Recent Quotes News

    •  
      Sign-in to view quotes in your portfolios.