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Union Budget 2008-09  »   Story
My hubby is the best Railway Minister: Rabri
Press Trust of India
Patna, February 26, 2008
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"My husband is the best Railway minister the country has ever seen."

This was how Rabri Devi, the wife of Railway Minister Lalu Prasad, reacted as she praised his "abilities" after the RJD supremo on Tuesday presented his fifth consecutive budget, which was generally described as a "please all" budget.

The leader of the Opposition in Bihar's Assembly also hailed the budget as yet another "exemplary" one as she disagreed her husband being dubbed as "Railway minister of Bihar". "Laluji is the Railway minister for the whole country and not just for Bihar."

"Ensuring successive profits to the Railways, earlier running in huge loss and giving another exemplary budget for the fiscal 2008-09 have proved Lalu Prasad's abilities. It has proved beyond doubt that he is the best Railway Minister the country has ever seen," Rabri Devi said when asked for her reaction to the budget presented in Parliament.

Rabri also thanked Lalu for favourably responding to her suggestion for job reservation for women in Railways.

"We are also happy to come to know about reserving five per cent posts for women for recruitment in the Railway Protection Force (RPF)," she said, adding this step would ensure protection to women travelling by trains.

"It was a long-pending demand I put forth before my husband and I am happy that he has given due consideration to it in the Railway budget," she remarked.

The former chief minister said women travelling by trains would get special facilities, as special coaches would be arranged for them, which would be guarded by female constables.

She appreciated the Railway Minister for the concessions given to women in fares and making provisions for free travel of girl students for appearing in competitive exams.

Sector Analysis
Negotiating a rough patch
Demand growth is expected to be buoyant driven by new vehicle launches, likely softening of interest rates and continued growth on the export front.
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Railway Budget
Lalu presents people's budget, slashes fares
The minister announced launch of several new trains and reduction in fares across all classes amid chaos by Opposition in Parliament.
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A budget for Bharat
Buoyant tax revenues a lower fiscal deficit and an economy that's in top gear permit the FM to pump big money into agriculture and the social sector. Those efforts might help at the hustings, too.
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Economic Survey
'Expand telecom infrastructure, R&D'
"With rapid growth of telecom network, there is a need to further expand the infrastructure and research and development," the survey said.
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Surfers' comments
This is a very good budget, especially for agriculture and education. P Chidambaram is the best.
- By Saravanan P (
If you can waive Rs 50,000 crore for farmers what about the tax on housing loan interest? That should also have been reduced.
- Chandra Shekar V (
Please tax the street hawkers and give relief to the salaried persons.
- Rajaram (
This is the worst budget the finance minister has ever presented. The backbone of the country's economy is the transport but he completely missed it out.
- Jayakaanthan A (
The budget is sure to augment growth and will also lessen the volatility of the stock markets.
- Sidharth Paul (
Overall, the budget is satisfactory but the health sector should have been given greater importance.
- Ankit Chaudhary (
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Business Today's Budget edition
Editorial: Predictably populist budget
Special: Something for everyone...
Column: All for the common man
Exclusive interview with the FM
Maintaining the growth story
The Finance Minister defends Budget 2008 and the Rs 60,000 crore loan waiver doled out to farmers in an exclusive interview to Business Today's Sanjoy Narayan and R Sridharan.
"Total reduction of excise duties by 2% will give a welcome boost to the manufacturing sector. Also, the exemption of specified parts of set-top boxes from customs duties is commendable".
- Rakesh Bharti Mittal, Vice Chairman, Bharti Enterprises
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Beginner’s guide to budget
Union Budget is an estimate of the Government of India's revenue and expenditure for the end of a particular fiscal year, which usually runs from April 1 to March 31. Read on...
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