Piyush Goyal promises international standards of passenger safety, comfort, convenience and speed

"We are working on a three point agenda, safer railway, cleaner railway and smarter railway. With these initiatives we can make railways as engine for India’s growth," says Piyush Goyal, Minister of Railways. He was speaking on ’How Transforming the Railways Can Boost our Economy’ at Moneylife Foundation's 8th Anniversary in Mumbai. “Inspired”, “charged-up” and “rejuvenated” were some of the comments from a 600 plus audience, including some prominent activists who heard the Minister at the historic convention hall of Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) on Saturday afternoon.

 

 

 

He said, “When our government took charge in 2014, the capital expenditure of railways was Rs45,000 to Rs53,000 crore. However, for a vast country like India, this is not sufficient and we thought there is a need to move the needle to increase the development work. For current year, this is now Rs1.30 lakh crore, which shows our commitment to make railways an engine for the country’s growth.".

 

Speaking about bullet train, Mr Goyal says, last time a train with additional speed, comfort and safety features was introduced was way back in 1969 -- the Rajdhani Express. Even at that time people were skeptical about the need for such type of train. From 1969 to 2017 neither we introduced any high-speed train nor we have not embarked on any major new technological initiative that will take us to international standards of passenger safety, comfort, convenience and speed”.

 

 

Some of the new improvement that took place in railway systems, the Minister said, now the Railway Board compulsorily meets once a week to discuss and advise on various ideas and steps to improve our railways. This is better than the meetings that were not frequent.

 

 

Mr Goyal reiterated that the Government is making Indian Railways one of the safest and most modern mode of transport in the country, and introducing faster and comfortable passenger trains for a better travel experience. "We have taken many major decisions and all of them are being executed at different levels, which cumulatively will make us the safest railways in the world. We are working towards eliminating all unmanned level crossing within a year. If state governments give us adequate support, then we will replace such unmanned level cross with underpasses and over-bridges," he added.

 

 

Railway activist Samir Zaveri presented a "Memorandum on Improving Mumbai Suburban Rail Network" prepared by Samir, Ajit Shenoy, Shirish Shanbhag, Sumaira Abdulali and Moneylife Foundation to Mr Goyal.

 

Responding on the Memorandum, the Railway Minister said, "There are several good suggestions in this Memorandum and we will see if we can address some of them. For example, for the PArsik Tunnel issue that is mentioned in this, we are in the process to make the tunnel water proof so that next rainy season, there will be no leakage. For allowing passengers of Konkan Railway to continue travelling to their destination in suburban train, we will work out a solution."

 

Talking about Mumbai Suburban Rail Network, the Minister said, the Ministry is looking at a holistic vision for developing this network over the next five years that would ensure much more comfortable and safe travel for over 75 lakh daily commuters.

 

 

Indian Railway is working with Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in GPS location and mapping of all works through satellite imaging. This, according to Mr Goyal would be used to for doubling of lines, to build other infrastructure facilities wherever there is an availability of land with the Railways.

 

At present, only 42% of total track network is electrified, rest section is operating on fossil fuel. In fact despite Delhi being a fully electrified station, majority of the trains coming there run on diesel. ”We aim to achieve 100% electrification of all rail routes over next few years. By 2022, you will see a new railway running across the country,” he added.  

 

 

 

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COMMENTS

ramchandran vishwanathan

1 year ago

i hope what is said is delivered
Can Moneylife publish the copy of memorandum prepared to all subscribers ??

REPLY

Sucheta Dalal

In Reply to ramchandran vishwanathan 1 year ago

The memorandum is attached to the report and open to all . We look forward to your feedback.

Mahesh S Bhatt

1 year ago

Remove tiling from stations & let there be asphalting only as stations donot get dug as roads.Mumbai loses 3000 + lives a year due to overloading.Now bad tiles shall add to injuries as BMC already has gifted us past 70 years with uneven broken roads/footpaths.LET BAD PRACTICES NOT BE COPIED FOR CORRUPTION AT COST OF HUMAN LIFES & SAFETY FOR GOD SAKE Mahesh Bhatt

Ashley lobo

1 year ago

What railway minister said is good. But there are some thing which can be worked on. Like for eg. Many outgoing train run in the city on fossile fuel. Why can't be there an elctr eng which take the train till some point in eg like western side till virar and centre side till kaylan .it will help to bring down city CO2 LEAVE down . Also the railway should have more ticket checker as it will be a review for them how many travel in subram train in handicap compartment . There should be getting at least one a month in the city with the railway people for suggestion.

CA Ameet Patel makes Facebook come alive with Tax Adda
On Saturday, Facebook become LIVE with noted Chartered Accountant (CA) Ameet Patel giving answers to most troubling tax queries asked on Moneylife Foundation's Tax Helpline. The 'Tax Adda' moderated by Debashis Basu, a CA himself, and Editor & Publisher of Moneylife, was viewed by 518 people on Facebook. However, the sane advice, Mr Patel gave to all taxpayers was to avoid doing something (foolish) to fix the problem and then approaching a CA for help after receiving a notice from the tax authorities.
 
Responding a question on misunderstanding on form 15H or G, Mr Patel says, "Form 15G can be used by non-senior citizens only if their final tax on the total income is nil or if the aggregate of the interest and other income received by the assesse during the year before availing deduction under chapter VI A does not exceed the basic exemption limit. The form 15H can be used only by senior citizen only if the final tax liability on his total income is nil."   
 
 
Mr Patel, a partner at Manohar Chowdhry & Associates, demystified several issues related with taxation asked by people on the Tax Helpline. It ranged from capital gains tax, submission of Form15G or H by bank deposit holders to tax issues faced by non-resident Indians (NRIs). 
 
One NRI wanted to know if she needs to pay tax on refund of loans given to their relatives or friends in India. Mr Patel, says, "First of all, you should not be giving loans in excess of Rs20,000 by cash. Secondly, if you claim that you have given a loan to someone, you need to ensure that you have a loan confirmation from that person. The confirmation must have the full name, address and permanent account number (PAN) of that person. It should be physically signed by that person. If a genuine loan is returned by the borrower, then that does not become a taxable receipt in the hands of the lender. The interest earned on non-resident ordinary rupee (NRO) Account is taxable whereas interest on non-resident rupee (NRE) account is not." 
 
 
Many queries were related with capital gains tax on sale of house property. One person wanted to know if he can used proceeds from sale of his flat bought in 2011 to repay housing loan for other flat bought in 2017. 
 
Section 54 of the Income-tax Act permits a taxpayer to claim exemption from taxable long term capital gains on sale of residential house property if he has invested the capital gains in the construction of a new house within three years from the sale of the old house or in purchase of a new house one year before or two years after the sale of the old house. 
 
 
"Thus," Mr Patel, says, "if you have already bought a new house within one year before the sale of the old house then you can claim exemption even if you use the sale proceeds of the old house to repay the loan taken to buy the new house. However, if you have claimed tax benefits in respect of the housing loan then you could have a problem."
 
 
Over the years, many investors have bought shares in joint names and are now facing issues. Mr Patel said, just because the asset is purchased in joint name, it does not mean that both the co-owners are beneficial owners. "From a tax perspective, what is relevant is who paid for the asset. Whoever paid for it will have to offer the income from that asset in his tax return. If the co-owners have both paid for it then the income has to be allocated proportionately between them."
 
Mr Patel also replied to queries asked online from viewers on Facebook Live. Responding to a query on taxability on trading or dealing in virtual currencies, like bitcoin, he said, "If you have earned an income, then you will have to pay tax. The I-T Department does not get into legality of virtual coins and will only consider income earned by the assessee."

Few months ago, many salaried people received notices from the I-T Department under Section 143(1). These were based on a circular issued by Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) to check and verify exemption claimed by employee with that of what was declared by the employer. 'However, after a hue and cry from taxpayers and tax professionals, these notices were withdrawn," Mr Patel added.
 
Watch the video on Facebook or log into Moneylife Daily Clinics page on Facebook
 
 
 
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COMMENTS

S T PATIL

1 year ago

Found this Tax Adda extremely useful. Shared link with others who may find the information useful.

Sulaiman Bhimani helps filing good RTI application for getting proper and accurate information
“Right to Information (RTI) is a very effective tool of obtaining information but equally important is we should take care writing the application to get accurate and proper information,” says Sulaiman Bhimani, an RTI activist and Founder-President of Citizens Justice Forum. He was speaking at an RTI workshop, “How to write a good RTI application for getting accurate and proper information”, organised by Moneylife Foundation’s RTI Centre in Mumbai.
 
Mr Bhimani answered to various questions on filing RTI application, the works to be used, and how to frame queries for getting proper accurate desired information. 
 
 
This workshop was broadcasted live on Facebook. Mr Bhimani replied to several queries asked by viewers on Facebook. 
 
He urged everyone who wants to use RTI to be more specific about what to be mentioned in the application so that information cannot be denied or manipulated by the public authority.
 
 
Mr Bhimani, while replying to a query from Tanmay Dwivedi, said that it is necessary to share mobile number and email ID in RTI application as without contact details the PIO may not be able to contact you, if required. 
 
Mukesh Mehta had asked about penalty if the PIO try to hide or fail to provide information asked. Mr Bhimani said, “As per Section 20 of the Right to Information Act, the PIO can be penalised only by the State Information Commission or the Central Information Commission, if he/she tries to hide the information without any reason specified u/s 7 or 8 or RTI Act 2005.”
 
 
Replying to other question, Mr Bhimani says, one can obtain information about hospital records of a MLA, MP or Ministers, who is jailed but admitted in a hospital for medical treatment. 
 
 
In the end, Mr Bhimani helped file an RTI application with regard to a public issue of money spent for lighting of Juhu beach.
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COMMENTS

Amitabha Bhattacharjee

1 year ago

Can Mr Bhiomani says how many PIL are not answered by PNO and for these unanswered PIL are lying there for how many days ?

ANIL CHAURASIA

1 year ago

Can I get Mr Bhimani's contact number?

REPLY

Sucheta Dalal

In Reply to ANIL CHAURASIA 1 year ago

please write to [email protected]

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