Ramesh Maheshwari, executive vice chairman at Texmaco Rail & Engineering Ltd., comments on the Indian Railways’ annual budget unveiled today. He answered questions via e-mail.
“The budgeted expenditure for procurement of rolling stock makes a significant increase and augurs well for the fortunes of the rolling-stock manufacturers. The revival of the procurement plan for high-power electric and diesel locomotives needs to be on fast track to make up for lost time.
‘‘Texmaco Rail would be a significant beneficiary as the company has already moved ahead in design development of high axle load freight cars and modern double-deck container flat wagons and auto cars. The company has also emerged as a reliable supplier of locomotive shells to the Ministry of Railways.
‘‘The reduction in operating ratio to 85 percent from 95 percent is well targeted, but it would need major administrative overhaul and rigorous financial discipline.
‘‘The decongestion in the rail network, which has been accorded high priority, is necessary to sustain planned GDP growth and also augment railways revenue. Currently, 80 percent of traffic is carried on the quadrilaterals and diagonals and there is little scope for running additional trains.’’