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July 8, 2014, By S Ranjita

Current Minister for Railways, Sadananda Gowda, will be presenting the first Rail Budget of the Modi-led government at 12 p.m. on July 8, 2014.

The rail budget holds prime importance for another fact that it actually gets the stage going for the upcoming Union Budget, which is to be presented on Thursday, July 10, 2014.

Indian Railways Budget 2014

Earlier in the morning, Sadananda Gowda took the chance to make a promise the new budget for Railways will look at revamping the entire setup and will be sans any political agenda, focusing more on the passenger amenities. Agreeing the need for new reforms and ideas, he did mention that tough challenges are around.

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Mr. Gowda’s words are much in line with what Finance Minister Arun Jaitley mentioned in his talk on July 7, Monday in the parliament that users have to pay for utility.

In an attempt to revamp the Railways, experts now believe tough calls on fares and freight charges are expected in the budget.

With Prime Minister Narendra Modi talking of private sector in Railways for better modernization, one can expect some news on the same.

Read the complete text of Sadananda Gowda’s speech:

#RailBudget 2014: Full Text of Rail Minister DV Sadananda Gowda’s Speech

The railway minister is already working on his first agenda of “safety, security and speed”. It is also expected that there will be better focus on the catering service of railways.

The main challenge for the Modi government will be the funding part, which may open to foreign investors after much backlash in the past on the same issue.

The government has already rolled out a 14.2 per cent hike in the passenger fares and a 6.5 per cent hike in freight rates earlier, which was the highest in a decade. The government, keeping the public outcry on the issue, have come down with the city commuter fare hikes.

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