New Delhi: Union Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi will be presenting country’s 81st Rail Budget on Wednesday. It is expected that there will be lesser impact of the political aspirations of Trinamool, rather the Budget is likely to focus on the infrastructural development of the country’s largest transportation system. 

READ MORE:Fare hike in Rail Budget looks remote

Rail budget of 2012-13 is expected to reciprocate recommendations of Dr Anil Kakodkar committee on safety and Sam Pitroda Committee on modernisation. These two committees had been formed by the Railway Minister. This rail budget will be different from the traditional rail budgets presented in the past. Rather than being a popular rail budget, there will be efforts to address the basic issues of Indian Railways. 

To implement the recommendation of two committees, there will be requirement of Rs 50,000 every year which is at least two times more than the budgetary support extended so far in the previous budgets. In the previous rail budget, the then Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee received only Rs 21,000 crore. This time Trivedi is likely to get Rs 25,000 crore in the budgetary provision whereas for the remaining Rs 25,000 crore, he will have to bank on the earnings of the railways.

Rail freight rates have already been raised by 20 percent in the past. Therefore, the only means left for generating the required money is through hike in the fares. Kakodkar committee has recommended imposition of safety cess of Rs 3 per ticket. If this is implemented then additional Rs 6,000 crore would be raised. If the safety cess of Rs 5 per ticket is introduced, then Rs 10,000 crore can be raised.

Freight rate hike in the current FY is expected to fetch additional Rs 5,000 crore in the next FY. Committee has also suggested raising Rs 5,000 through dividend suspension.

(JPN/Bureau)