Hailing the Railway Budget as “reformist and forward-looking”, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday said minister Pawan Kumar Bansal has done a commendable job in meeting competing demands of improving services and controlling expenditure.

Dr. Singh complimented Mr. Bansal for his “innovations” in critical areas of Railway infrastructure and paving the way for capacity expansion.

“It is a reformist and forward-looking Budget which presents a realistic picture of Railway finances,” he said while commenting on the Railway Budget which did not propose any hike in passenger fares even though some supplementary charges were hiked.

“The Minister for Railways has done a commendable job in meeting competing demands of improving and increasing services for commuters and controlling expenditure of his department,” Dr. Singh said.

Practical, implementable: Chidambaram

Terming the Railway Budget for 2012-13 as “practical and implementable”, Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Tuesday said that his cabinet colleague Pawan Kumar Bansal has presented the finances of the railways in a very candid manner.

“The Railway Minister has presented a very responsible, practical and implementable budget,” Chidambram told reporters outside Parliament.

Mr. Chidambaram, who will present the General Budget for fiscal 2012—13 on February 28, said, “Within the resources the railways can mobilise, I think he (Bansal) has done a remarkable job of providing new trains, new lines, extensions, capital works and production facilities.”

On the financial conditions of the railways, he said, “I think after many years, he (the Minister) has candidly stated the finances of the railways... I think it is a very commendable budget.”

Forward-looking budget: Sibal

Giving his reaction, Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal also termed as “forward—looking” the Railway Budget presented by Bansal.

He said the Budget has a vision of taking care of passengers.

Noting that Mr. Bansal had “honestly” stated that the Railway sector was not in very good financial condition,” he said, “I commend the Railway Minister for presenting a very practical, useful budget which will in the years to come really take care of the Railways through their own resources.”

Fine balance: Tewari

Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari said the Railway Minister has done a “commendable job” and kept “a very fine balance“.

Mr. Tewari said he had been able to “reconcile various imperatives” while keeping the larger growth story of Railways in mind.

External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid also said Mr. Bansal has done “a very good balancing job.”

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