Industry calls it pragmatic, but also ambitious

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Business leaders and chambers of commerce in West Bengal termed Pawan Kumar Bansal's rail budget a pragmatic and balanced one.

The Railway Budget was in tune with the vision of the 12th Five-Year Plan and reforms that the government would like to take forward, said Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Targeted operating ratio improvement was a commendable feature, it said but pointed out that PPP proposal pegged at Rs 1 lakh crore appeared "ambitious unless there is focus on execution of the projects".

According to Chandrajit Banerjee, DG of Confederation of Indian Industry, the emphasis on financial viability and fiscal discipline of the Railways was reassuring. "With fuel prices getting deregulated, linking of freight rates to increase in diesel prices is the correct direction to take," he said.

According to Ashok Aikat of Bharat Chamber of Commerce, the Railway Minister has adopted a conservative approach instead of a populist one. "The budget, however, lacks innovative steps to improve the financial health of the Indian Railways. No concrete steps have been spelt out for aggressively undertaking the already belated progress of freight corridors," he said.

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