Hailing the Railway Budget as "futuristic and growth-oriented", Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said it marks launch of the process of taking India's growth to new heights besides helping provide greater services and safety to the people.
Several new trains, clean platforms, free wi-fi promised by railways minister Sadananda Gowda in his maiden budget. (Sakib Ali/HT Photo)
Hitting out at the previous governments, he said, "during the last few decades, there was a sense of disorder" and planning was done in "bits and pieces".
For the first time, the focus of the railway budget is on comprehensive development of the entire country, he said, adding it lays the foundation stone for the 21st century India.
Modi said if attention had been paid to railways after Independence, the country would have touched new heights of growth through this mode of transport.
"Congratulations to the railway minister for presenting a futuristic & growth oriented budget. It is a budget for the common people," Modi tweeted.
"Better late than never.... After long, the country will experience that our railways is really Indian railways," he said in a statement later.
He said railways is not just a mode of transport but "a growth engine" and this budget will prove that railways plays a key role in the country's development. "From 2014, we have initiated the process of pushing growth to new heights. I am confident that rail travellers will have a pleasant experience," Modi said.
He said the budget is for the common people as it aspires for better service, speed and safety with focus on development of the country.
The budget shows where the government wants to take India through the railways as it focusses on strengthening institutional mechanism, transparency and integrity, he said.
He said the budget pays attention to use of science and technology.
Asserting that an institution like the railways cannot be run in an ad-hoc manner, he said, "institutional mechanisms are required for decision-making, vision and initiatives."