Railway Budget 2013 woos Indian Middle Class
The first Railway Minister from the Congress Party in 16 years, Mr. Pawan Kumar Bansal knows it well that he need to be diplomatic in order to be able to revive the sinking fortune of his party. He projected things well, fooled the public and wooed the Indian middle class in the election year (probably).
While there was no fare hike in this budget, Mr. Bansal took the indirect route to increase the freight rate by 5%, increase the tatkal fares and reservation fee on superfast trains. Yet, people would talk about the no hike in passenger fares and bring smile to Bansal’s face.
Bansal impressed a section of the middle class with a promise to improve food/catering, focus on hygiene, centralized kitchens at key railway stations, Wi-Fi in select trains and executive lounges in seven railway stations.
Bansal has something for people, who use IRCTC website to book their tickets. The site is a virtually hell for the users, but the Railway Minister has promised to make it user-friendly. He said a strong mechanism is being worked out to enable one lakh users log in to the site simultaneously. He also claimed that instead of 1,000 tickets, the IRCTC reservation site will disburse 7,000 e-tickets per minute.
Some other announcements were made on the modernisation, expansion of Railway tracks, electrification, new trains etc. But, the above promises, if put into action, may make the common people believe that this man (Pawan Bansal) is different from the crowd.