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Media Roundup: 25 February 2010

Media Roundup: 25 February 2010
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First Published: Thu, Feb 25 2010. 02 25 PM IST
Updated: Thu, Feb 25 2010. 02 25 PM IST
Business Standard: Railway budget satisfactory, say industry bodies
The industry chambers have welcomed the Railway Budget 2010-2011 announced by Minister of Railways Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday. Some of the proposals announced by the minister will lead to modernisation of Railways and propel economic growth, Bangalore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCIC) said.
Business Standard: T N Ninan: It’s not the stimulus, stupid!
It is extraordinary how much of the pre-Budget speculation has focused on whether (and if so, by how much) the “fiscal stimulus” will be rolled back in the Budget for next year. Even as this debate shows little understanding of what a stimulus is, it ignores more important issues that should be the focus of debate.
Business Standard: Mamata takes Railway finances off track
Hindi couplets, shrill notes, political correctness (a coach factory at Rae Bareli, drinking water plant at Amethi) and a bagful of projects for West Bengal (over half a dozen factories and workshops, two museums, one cultural centre and much more) — nothing that Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee said today while presenting the Railway Budget 2010-11 in the Lok Sabha could hide the rot in finances. Little wonder, she made an impassioned plea to the private sector for investments.
Business Standard: India Inc hails Mamata’s rail budget
India Inc has reacted positively to the Railway Budget, as freight and passenger fares were left unchanged. Industry lobbies were also enthused over possible private sector investment in railways.
Business Standard: Net profit of railway PSUs dips 32 per cent
Income up 15 per cent to Rs 13,641 crore from Rs 11,880 crore in 2007-08.
The combined net profit of the 11 PSUs under the ministry of railways fell 32 per cent to Rs 1,328 crore in 2008-09 from Rs 1,950 crore in the previous year.
Business Standard: Budget may bring some cheer to taxpayers
Higher basic exemption, 80C limit likely.
The Budget is likely to bring some cheer to the average taxpayer in a year of rising inflation by increasing the basic exemption limit for all income levels.
Financial Express: Wagon factory spree worries pvt players
With the railway minister Mamata Banerjee announcing at least five wagon manufacturing factories, private players went into a tizzy, pointing out that they apprehended a decline in railway orders.
Financial Express: Wagon owners want exclusive use, not rlys meddling
Railway minister Mamata Banerjee’s proposal to introduce a modified wagon investment scheme is likely to be successful if investors are allowed to exclusively use the wagons they pay for.
Financial Express: Mamata puts green technologies on track
Railway minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday proposed a number of measures to fulfil the “common and collective responsibility to take care of mother earth.”
Financial Express: Didi’s infrastructure plans to boost construction industry
Railway minister Mamata Banerjee’s idea of building diverse infrastructure facilities, which includes cultural complexes and houses for staff and super-fast passenger rail corridors, promises to fuel construction growth but sector experts said the outcome would depend on how quickly these projects grind their way through the bureaucratic process.
Financial Express : Steel firms cheer, cement players peeved
The Railway Budget presented by Mamata Banerjee has brought cheer to the steel industry but has failed to impress cement players who were hoping for more incentives this year.
The Financial Express: FE Editorial: A little off-track
Railway minister Mamata Banerjee presented a white paper and a bold Vision 2020 document just two months ago, which ostensibly planned to restore Indian Railways’ global ranking to second position over the next decade.
Financial Express: Column: Why railways needs to watch its fisc
For an economy coming out of a turbulent year, the role of the railways has to be assessed by how much additional investment it will create in 2010-11.
Economic Times: Mamata too helps check inflation!
PDS consumers may not benefit significantly but railway minister Mamata Banerjee’s appears to have done her tokenist wee bit towards the farm and food sector.
Economic Times: Passenger sops, wage bill derail Didi’s maths
Only a third of the railways’ annual plan of Rs 41,000 crore will come from its own funds, as mounting losses on account of subsidised passenger fares has dented its profitability in a big way.
Economic Times: It’s a win-win situation for railways & passengers
A few IT-centric announcements on SMSes and nuggets to do with RFIDs, anti-collision systems and GPS-based optimised driver guidance systems thrown in, this railway budget might appear low-fi on the face of it, but a closer look reveals it can ring in genuine savings for both railways and its users — industry as well as passengers.
Economic Times: Private participation would improve railway finances: Industry experts
Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee’s so called ’Aam Admi budget’ has fuelled industry expectation for economic growth. Although, there has been a sense of skepticism about availability of funds for railway infrastructure and socially desirable projects, some believe that private participation would improve railway finances in the future.
Economic Times: Railway Budget: Mamata rolls out a slow coach
Railway minister Mamata Banerjee’s decision to leave tariffs unchanged for the next year brought smiles to the faces of commuters and companies, but raised questions about how she can find the money to fund the sprucing up of a 157-year-old rail network which is bursting at the seams.
Times of India: Using dormant landbanks this budget’s USP
Till a couple of years ago, Mamata Banerjee had been in the news for all the wrong reasons. The violence in Nandigram and sustained agitation in Singur that led to axing of two projects, including the prestigious Nano plant, branded her investor-unfriendly.
Times of India: Reformist Cong runs into populist Mamata
A day after she burst into tears to get 18 new railway projects past the prime minister’s reservations, Congress was feeling the jitters about the rail budget which Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee will present in Parliament on February 24.
Times of India: Mamata’s train tribute to Tagore
It was a railway budget that not only left Bengal better connected to the rest of the country, but also touched a chord with the literary-minded people of the state. Sticking to her ”ma-maati-manush” approach, the railway minister left the masses pleased as well with 16 trains connecting Howrah to pilgrimage destinations around the country.
The Hindu: A catalogue of good intentions
As expected, Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee has presented her second budget without any increase in passenger fares or freight tariff. In fact, she announced a marginal reduction in service charges for sleeper and air-conditioned class tickets, as also a cut of Rs.100 per wagon in the freight of food grains and kerosene as a response to rising prices. Otherwise, the 2010-11 budget will be remembered for its intentions and policy pronouncements rather than for specific budgetary measures.
The Hindu: For West Bengal, budget is on the poll track
Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee may have told journalists, after presenting the Railway budget for 2010-11 on Wednesday, that “all States are my motherland” but there is no arguing that West Bengal accounts for a chunk of the slew of proposals she announced in Parliament.
The Hindu Business Line: Pranab faces tough choice between growth and deficit
The Budget for 2010-11 has three main macroeconomic objectives. One is to bring down the fiscal deficit, the second is to keep the growth momentum going, and the third is to keep the borrowing down.
The Hindu Business Line: Projections scaled down for incremental freight traffic
Indian Railways’ incremental freight traffic of 54 million tonnes (mt) as projected for 2010-11 will be lower, marginally though, than the 57 mt projected for 2009-10.In 2008-09, the originating revenue-earning freight traffic was 833 million tonnes (mt) and the throughput in the current fiscal (2009-10), according to the Railway Minister in her Budget speech for 2010-11, will be 890 mt, up from the targeted 882 mt. The target for 2010-11 has beet set at 944 mt.
Hindustan Times: Lay tracks for tomorrow
It is tempting in 2010 to set out a 2020 vision for the Indian railway network. Mamata Banerjee’s white paper last December was a realistic assessment of how the railways need to morph in a competitive environment; some of that sobering analysis finds place in her budget for 2010-11.
Hindustan Times: Railways joins 2010 Games bandwagon
ndian Railways will be the lead partner of the Commonwealth Games organising committee, Rail Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Wednesday in her rail budget speech.
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First Published: Thu, Feb 25 2010. 02 25 PM IST