I am grateful to Manmohan Singh, Sonia Gandhi: Pawan Kumar Bansal

Pawan Kumar Bansal

Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal, who began the presentation of Railway Budget 2013-14 in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday, thanked Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi for giving him this opportunity.

"I am grateful to Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi for giving me this opportunity," he told the Lok Sabha. Bansal also recalled former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi for introducing him to the biggest temple of democracy.

Bansal, who is presenting his maiden Railway Budget, is likely to announce a number of passenger friendly measures, such as improvement in catering services, development of stations and launching of several new trains.

A majority of the country''s population will, however, keep a close eye on whether Bansal yields to pressure of hiking passenger fares yet again or looks at other measures to mobilise resources to offset the burden of the recent diesel price hike. This is the first Rail Budget being presented by a Congress Minister after 17 years.

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