New Delhi: The mining industry today welcomed the Railway Budget for 2008-09, saying Railway minister Lalu Prasad has provided respite to them by not increasing the freight charges.
“The Budget is all right. The railway minister has been kind in not increasing freight charges. But I hope the Railways do not increase freight during the course of the year like last year,” secretary general of Federation of Indian Mineral Industries (FIMI) R K Sharma told PTI.
He said Prasad’s announcement on doubling of some railway lines will ease the movement of iron ore, “but we request the wagon availability should further improve.”
Days before the budget, both the steel and mining industries had alleged that the Railways has been increasing freight charges so frequently that it had gradually started hitting their bottomline.
They had also pointed out that along with rise in freight charges, shortage of wagons also compounded their problems.
The railway minister today said most of the new dedicated iron ore routes would be constructed or upgraded for 25-ton axle load trains and some routes will be made suitable for running 30-ton axle load trains.