Ahead of the Rail budget, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on Monday held a meeting here in which issues relating procurement of wagon, rate of return on rail projects and PPP schemes among others were raised, a senior Railway Ministry official said.
People and investors from various sectors including coal, iron ore, cement, wagon manufacturers, freight operators participated in the crucial pre-budget meeting and raised various issues concerning the business.
According to the official, there were many suggestions including relaxing the wagon policy, clarity in Public Private Partnership (PPP) schemes, consistency in railways approach towards private investment put forward by the participants attended by Railway Minister along with many senior officials.
"It was decided that a core committee comprising senior Railway officials would be formed to examine all suggestions made and a decision will be taken accordingly," he said.
Prabhu is said to be making a 'sincere attempt' to bring in some private investment in key infrastructure projects in railways.
After the meeting while talking to reporters, Prabhu said "Today, I talked to different categories of people to know their suggestions on Rail Budget. It is my sincere endeavour to know their thoughts about the budget. Our website has also received about 20,000 suggestions online from people. Some are also writing to us."
The Minister said a conscious attempt has been made to involve people in a big way in preparation of the budget. "Though we will try to accommodate maximum suggestions in the coming budget, it will not be possible to carry all of them. So we will try to address their concern after the budget also," Prabhu said.

Freight operators have also participated in the meeting and gave some suggestions. Freight earning is crucial for us and our passengers service is cross-subsidised from it, he said adding "there is a big financial burden on railways for passenger service and without cross-subsidisation from freight it would have been difficult."

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