New Delhi, Mar 14: Hailing the Railway Budget for "certain positive developments", Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday if the exercise succeeded in cutting operating costs, it would be a major improvement.
"There are certain positive developments...For instance the budget has increased Rs 60,100 crore to almost 22 per cent increase," he told reporters soon after Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi presented his maiden budget.
Mukherjee pointed out that from the revised list and also from the projection of income, gross return was almost Rs 26,000 crore more -- 28 per cent over the revised estimates.
"The proposals the Railway Minister has made... if they are effectively implemented then surely it will provide the elbow room to the Railways to build up the capacity in various areas," he said.
"As the railway minister has himself admitted that for quite some time the operating ratio was varying from 94, 95, 96, one year it reached 97. He has commited to bring it down to 85-84.9 from present level of 95. If he succeeds it will be a major improvement," the Finance Minister said.