New Delhi: Prime
Minister Manmohan Singh today hailed as "forward-looking" the Rail Budget
which has proposed hike in passenger fares in various ranges in different
"The Railway Minister has presented a forward-looking
budget with emphasis on safety and modernisation of the Indian Railways,"
Singh said in a statement.
He said the budget has been formulated
against the background of the Railways' responsibilities in meeting the
demands of the 12th Five Year Plan.
Presenting his first budget,
Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi announced hike in passenger fares ranging
from 2 paisa per kilometre to 30 paisa per kilometre in various categories
of trains while noting that the Railways was passing through a "difficult
He also announced introduction of 75 express trains, 21
passenger trains and extension of 39 trains besides increase in the
frequency of 23 trains.
Platform tickets have also been raised
from Rs 3 to Rs 5.