KARNATAKA

Industry gives thumbs up to Railway Budget

Special Correspondent



Most requests made by State, FKCCI granted: Crasta

‘Prepare ‘easy, investment-friendly’ policy guidelines’



Bangalore: Industry associations have welcomed the Railway Budget for 2010-11. President of the Federation of Karnataka Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FKCCI) J. Crasta said the budget has accommodated “most of the requests made by the State Government and FKCCI”.

However, while appreciating the move to constitute a special task force for clearing the proposals for investments within 100 days, the FKCCI urged Union Minister for Railways Mamata Banerjee to prepare policy guidelines that are “easy, simple and investment friendly”.

Mr. Crasta welcomed the move to commission 117 new train services out of the 120 that were announced in the last budget. He also welcomed the move to allow private operators to run special freight trains. The decision to establish a ‘South-South Corridor’ was also hailed. “We are happy to note that the Minister appreciated Karnataka Government’s role in coming forward to implement railway projects under cost-sharing proposal/PPP. There are 11 such proposals,” he said.

Demands

However, FKCCI has suggested that the Railway Ministry “take up, on an urgent basis, the completion of the Hubli-Ankola line”. It has also sought “container connectivity” to Mangalore Port.

The President of the Karnataka Small Scale Industries Association, M.C. Dinesh, termed the budget “lacklustre”. He said the proposed expansion of the rail network by 1,000 km during 2010-11 was not commensurate to the needs of a growing economy. The move to upgrade healthcare facilities would be “worthy of emulation by organisations that value corporate social responsibility, he said.

The Bangalore Chamber of Industry and Commerce (BCIC) welcomed the budget for its “innovative proposals”. K.R. Girish, BCIC President, welcomed the move to establish a National Highspeed Railway Authority, the introduction of special wagons for carrying fly-ash, iron ore and automobiles, and to set up ancillary and automobile hubs at ten locations. He said the BCIC was “disappointed” that freight rates had not been reduced.

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