NEW DELHI: Railway Minister Sadananda Gowda has started presenting the first railway budget of the Modi government in Parliament.
The budget is set to propose steps to boost the department's revenues, as it is saddled with a huge cash cruch of Rs.26,000 crore amid a decline in the growth in passenger earnings.
The new government has already increased railway passenger fares by 14.2 percent and the freight carriage charges by 6.5 percent. However, it will need more funds from international lenders to finance long gestation projects.
"Going to present my maiden budget as a rail minister of India today. Hope we are able to meet public expectations," Gowda, former chief minister of Karnataka who represents the Udupi Chikmagalur constituency in Lok Sabha, tweeted had earlier.
He said even though Indian Railways carried the largest number of passengers and freight, it stood much behind in efficiency, punctuality, cleanliness and services.