The highlightsRailway Budget for 2013-14

 Railway Minister Pawan Bansal has announced the Union Railway Budget for 2013-14 in Parliament. Here are the highlights:

·         No increase in passenger fares

·         Railways will absorb Rs. 850 crore on account of no hike in passenger fare

·         Marginal increase in reservation charges, cancellation charges

·         Supplementary charges for superfast trains and tatkal booking

·         26 new passenger trains to be launched


·         67 express trains to be launched

·         9 Electric Multiple Unit (EMU) trains to be introduced

·         500-km new lines to be completed in 2013-14

·         Concessional fare for sportspersons

·         5 per cent average increase in freight

·         Diesel price hike added Rs. 3,300 crore to fuel bill of Railways

·         Railways hopes to end 2013-14 with a balance of Rs. 12,506 crore

·         5.2 per cent growth in passenger traffic expected in 2013-14

·         Railways' freight loading traffic scaled down by 100 million tonnes from 1025 million tonnes because of economic slowdown

·         Railways to set up a Debt Service Fund

·         Rs. 3,000 crore loan from Finance Ministry re-paid with interest by Railways this financial year

·         New coach manufacturing and maintenance facilities to be set up in various places including Rae Bareli, Bhilwara, Sonepat, Kalahandi, Kolar, Palakkad and Pratapgarh

·         Five fellowships to be announced to motivate students

·         Centralised training institute to be set up in Secunderabad

·         Will provide better living conditions for Railway Protection Force (RPF) personnel

·         Seek to fill 1.52 lakh vacancies in railways this year. 47,000 vacancies for weaker sections and physically challenged to be filled up soon

·         Target of Rs. 4,000 crore for railway production units in 2014

·         Trying to connect Manipur through railways

·         Investment of Rs. 3800 crore for port connectivity projects

·         Target of Rs. 1000 crore each for Indian Railways Land Development Authority and Indian Railways Station Development authority

·         Toll free 1800111321 number to address grievance. Introduced from February 2013

·         Labs to test food provided in trains. ISO certification for all rail kitchens

·         Advance fraud control will be used for ticket sale

·         Induction of e-ticketing through mobile phones, SMS alerts to passengers 

·         Next-generation e-ticketing system to improve end user experience.  The system will support 7200 users per minute

·         Wheelchairs and escalators to be made to make stations and trains friendlier for the differently-abled.

·         Rs. 100 crore to be spent to augment facilities at Delhi, New Delhi and Nizamuddin railway stations

·         Special attention to stations in NCR.

·         Free wi-fi facilities in select trains. 60 more 'adarsh' stations

·         Safety measures including new coaches with anti-climb features to be brought in

·         More ladies specials in metros and a helpline number to be implemented

·         Railways meets need of consumers while adhering to sound economic principles. Need to expand at a much faster growth rate

·         I am committed to improving passenger amenities

·         Resource crunch cannot be a reason for substandard services 

·         Elimination of over 10,000 level crossings

·         17 bridges sanctioned for rehabilitation

·         Enhancement of the track capacity and the Train Protection Warning System (TPWS)

·         Indigenously developed collision avoidance system to be put to trial

·         Induction of self-propelled accident relief trains along with fast and reliable disaster management system

·         Railway passengers deserve safe and comfortable travel. Safety is a mandate in running trains. There has been a significant reduction in accidents - .41 per million kms in 2003-04 to .13 in 2011- 12. We will strive to work towards a zero accident situation.

·         Our targets need to be higher

·         Mounting scarcity of resources, thin spread of funds continue to be a problem 

·         The number of passenger trains has increased from 8000 in 2001 to over 12000 in 2012 - yet losses continue to mount. It is estimated to be Rs. 24,000 cr in 2012-13

·         Indian railways must remain financially viable

·         Indian Railways plays an unparalleled growth in integrating the nation

·         I thank Dr Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi and I pay homage to Rajiv Gandhi ji who introduced me to politics

- See more at:

Auto Mobile:Jaguar launches XJ Ultimate at Rs. 1.78 crore



Tata Motors-owned Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) on Tuesday launched luxury Jaguar XJ Ultimate, priced up to Rs. 1.88 crore (ex-showroom, Mumbai).


The XJ Ultimate is available with Jaguar's existing 5.0-litre V8 supercharged petrol engine and 3.0 litre V6 turbocharged diesel engine, all driving the rear wheels via an eight-speed transmission, the company said in a statement.


While the 5.0-litre V8 variant will cost Rs. 1.88 crore (ex-Showroom Delhi), the 3.0-litre diesel variant is priced at Rs. 1.78 crore, it added.


"Based exclusively on the long-wheelbase XJ, the interior changes applied to the Ultimate focus on the rear accommodation, extending the car's limousine remit to provide a fully-appointed luxury business class experience for the most discerning of global customers," it said.


The company eyes to increase its sales in India with the launch of the luxury sedan. For 2012, it reported 32 per cent growth in sales at 2,393 units, compared to 1,813 units in the previous year.


Last month, the company said it would start assembling a variant of its Jaguar XF in India, thereby bringing down the starting price of the model by over Rs. 12 lakh.


The variant, which would be the second JLR model to be assembled in India, with a 2.2 litre diesel engine would be introduced in India for the first time at an entry price of Rs. 44.5 lakh (ex-showroom, Mumbai) and would be assembled at Tata Motors' Pune facility.


Jaguar's currently available diesel and petrol XF variants with 3.0 litre and 5.0 litre engines are priced between Rs. 57.15 lakh and Rs. 1.03 crore (ex-showroom Delhi).



India Bugget:Ten Points in the Union Budget that impacts you..!

Here are 10 announcements in the Union Budget that impacts you:

1.      High earners: The biggest impact will be felt by the 42,800 Indians who earn over Rs. 1 crore. Mr Chidambaram has imposed a 10 per cent surcharge on their income, which means they will have to shell out at least an additional Rs.3 lakh in taxes. However, those earning up to Rs. 5 lakh per annum will get Rs.2,000 by way of tax credit.

2.      Home buyers: Mr Chidambaram has proposed an additional deduction of Rs. 1 lakh paid towards interest on a home loan (besides the Rs. 1.5 lakh deduction now available) for first-time home buyers. The value of the house should not exceed Rs. 40 lakh and the loan should be restricted to Rs. 25 lakh. The loan should be taken in fiscal 2013-14. This will help save Rs. 30,000. At the same time, he has proposed a 1 per cent tax deducted at source (TDS) on high-value transactions of over Rs. 50 lakh on immovable properties.

3.      Car buyers: Sports utility vehicles (SUVs) will be costlier as Mr Chidambaram has proposed a hike in the duty paid by the manufacturers of the vehicles to 30 per cent from 27 per cent. He has also proposed an increase in the import tax on luxury vehicles to 100 per cent from 75 per cent, and on motorcycles with an engine capacity above 800cc to 75 per cent from 60 per cent.

4.      Consumers: Cigarettes will be costlier as the excise duty has been hiked by 18 per cent. Mobile phones will also be costlier as handsets with a price tag of over Rs. 2,000 will attract 6 per cent excise duty. Eating out will be costlier after Mr Chidambaram announced a service tax on AC restaurants.

5.      Women: In a significant move for women empowerment, Mr Chidambaram has proposed to set up the country's first women's bank as a public sector bank. For this, he has set aside Rs. 1,000 crore as initial capital. The bank will predominantly employ women and will lend mostly to women and women-run businesses.

6.      Jewellery buyers: Good news for gold buyers in the Budget as the finance minister held the gold import duty unchanged, defying industry expectations that the world's biggest bullion buyer would increase rates to curb demand and rein in a record current account deficit. The Budget also raised to Rs. 1 lakh the maximum value of jewellery that may be brought home by Indian women who have lived abroad for more than a year, or who are changing residence, from Rs. 20,000 earlier.

7.      Retail investors: Mr Chidambaram plans to issue inflation-indexed bonds to attract investors. The finance minister has also proposed liberalising the Rajiv Gandhi Equity Savings Scheme to enable first time investors to park funds in mutual funds and listed shares and extended tax benefits to three successive years. Also, the limit for investors wanting to invest in RGESS has been raised to Rs. 12 lakh from Rs. 10 lakh earlier.

8.      Traders: The Budget has proposed to reduce securities transaction tax on equity futures to 0.01 per cent from 0.017 per cent currently. However, it has imposed a transaction tax on futures contracts of non-agricultural commodities like gold, silver and base metals. The proposal is to levy a commodities transaction tax (CTT) of 0.01 per cent of the price of every trade. Futures trade in non-agricultural commodities accounted for nearly 88 per cent of the total turnover on Indian commodity exchanges in 2011-12, with MCX cornering much of the share.

9.      Corporates: Mr Chidambaram has proposed to increase the surcharge to 10 per cent on domestic companies with annual income of more than Rs. 10 crore. For foreign companies, who pay the higher rate of corporate tax, the surcharge will increase from 2 per cent to 5 per cent.

10.  Foreign investors: The government did not announce a cut in the withholding tax imposed on income from government and corporate debt investments and deducted at source that can now reach up to 20 per cent. The government has also created confusion with a proposal stating a tax residency certificate "shall be necessary but not a sufficient condition" to take advantage of double taxation avoidance agreements. Tax authorities had previously considered this tax residency as enough proof to allow foreign investors registered in countries with these treaties to avoid paying taxes in India.