Although the Railway Budget presented by Suresh Prabhu today came as a mixed bag, two sectors - realty and automobile - however, gave their thumbs up as the budget proposal offered them a good long-term prospects in a rather slowing economy.
In his Railway Budget speech, Prabhu spoke about the dedicated freight corridors and redevelopment of 400 railway stations, which according to property consultants would foster the transit oriented development and boost the real estate market.
According to Anuj Puri, Chairman & Country Head, JLL India, "The railway minister Suresh Prabhu's announcement today on redevelopment of 400 stations through the private-public partnership (PPP) model is a very progressive and welcome move. This project will foster a plethora of large transit-oriented developments across the country."
Indian Railways could efficiently monetise their land parcels, particularly in cities with higher densities, by commercially exploiting existing railway stations through sale of space rights over them, he added.
Adding on to it, Anshuman Magazine, CBRE South Asia CMD, said, "From a real estate and infrastructure perspective the budget had some key announcements focusing on infrastructure such as dedicated freight corridors including three new freight corridors and transit development."
On the automobile front, the Railway minister proposed to set up India's first rail auto hub in Chennai. According to carmakers, the move will provide a big support to the automobile industry, facilitating transportation of vehicles from manufacturing plants to respective destinations.
Hyundai Motor India Ltd Senior Vice-President (Sales & Marketing) Rakesh Srivastava, said, "Last mile connectivity, reduced logistic costs and time, (are) addressed in one big infrastructure move enabling mass transportation of vehicles with the Auto Hub at Chennai giving a big support to the auto industry."
Expressing similar views, Renault India Operations Country CEO and Managing Director Sumit Sawhney said India's first rail auto hub in Chennai will facilitate transportation of cars from manufacturing plants to respective destinations as the city is "a growing automobile hub and is being regarded as 'Detroit of the East'".
In his speech, Prabhu said inadequacy of warehousing and transportation facilities was also one of the causes that kept potential customers away from the railways.
With Agency inputs