This year Rail Budget will be remembered for many years as a popular Rail budget due to large numbers of incentives offered to general public. This year Lalu Yadav, our respected Railway Minister presented a popular budget considering the fact of coming ten states and national elections. With this Rail budget, Lalu Yadav has given 5%, 3%, 4% and 7% cut in rail ticket prices of sleeper, AC III, AC II and AC I respectively.
Lalu Yadav also announced introduction of 10 new Garib Raths and 53 trains. For reducing the burden of rising petrol and diesel prices on people, Lalu Yadav also reduced the freight charges on diesel and petrol by 5%. There are also some other good incentives in this railway budget 2008 like introduction of 50% concession to people suffering from AIDS and free season tickets for girl students till graduation.
The major attraction of this Railway budget could be massive introduction of PPP (Public-private-partnership) which will help Railway in earning around extra 100000 crore rupees. Lalu Yadav also presented vision 2025, a document prepared to develop Indian Railways in next 17 years. Good news for the Railway passengers is that they will soon be able to use internet while travelling in super fast trains like Rajdhani. Railways will also increase the number of automatic tickets machines to more than double in near future.
In coming years, people will also be able to book rail tickets with the help of their mobile phones. Overall, this is a very attractive budget and we can hope that this budget will benefit the people of India. However, still Indian railways need lot of improvement in infrastructure and functioning as early as possible, then just decreasing train fares and increasing number of trains.