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Speech of Shri Nitish Kumar
Introducing the Railway Budget, 1999-2000
on 25th February 1999 - Part I(c)

Medical facilities

The health of Railway employees and their families, who are a part of the world's largest industrial organisation, is being looked after by the Medical Department of Indian Railways. They have made special contribution towards Pulse Polio Vaccine, AIDS Control and family welfare. It is worth mentioning that the birth rate in the families of railwaymen is 14 per thousand whereas, the national average is 18 per thousand.

Industrial Relations

Permanent Negotiating Machinery (PNM), Joint Consultative Machinery (JCM), and Participation of Railway Employees in Management (PREM) are working satisfactorily and the industrial relations on the Indian Railways are cordial and peaceful. Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes
As per statutory provisions, adequate protection and reservation are being provided to the scheduled castes and scheduled tribes as well as other backward classes. Under this, reservation cells are working at every level so that their complaints can be disposed of quickly.

Sports

I am happy to inform the Hon'ble Members that the Railway Sports Control Board has been renamed as Rail Sports Promotion Board to reflect the new orientation of its purpose. In last Budget, I had mentioned that to bring about greater transparency, the recruitment against sports quota would be made through open advertisements of promising sportspersons. Procedure for recruitment has since been modified and 70% of the vacancies in the Sports quota are being filled through open advertisements.
As in the past, Railways have maintained their position in the forefront this year also in the sphere of sports. In the recently concluded Asian Games in Bangkok, Railways have given outstanding performance. I take pride in mentioning that out of seven gold medals won by India, five Gold Medals were bagged by Railway athletes. I am confident that with the measures being taken to promote sports in Railways our sportspersons would continue to give outstanding performance in the future also and bring laurels for the country.

Special Announcements
Concessions for Handicapped Persons

The Orthopaedically handicapped and paraplegic persons with their escorts presently get a concession of 75% in First Class, Second Class, and Sleeper Class. I have decided that in future this concession will also be available in Air-Conditioned 3 tier and Air Conditioned Chair Car. In addition 50% concession will be given in other Air-Conditioned classes.

Concessions to Press Correspondents

Press correspondents accredited to the headquarters of Government of India and State Governments/Union Territories and District headquarters are issued coupon books at 25% concession in First Class fares and 50% concession in Second/Sleeper Class fares for journeys up to 2,500 km per month. I am happy to inform the House that with these coupon books they can themselves avail of 50% concession in all classes for journeys up to 30,000 km in a year.

Concessions to the Winners of President's Police Medal

As our recognition of the contribution made by the recipients of President's Police Medal for distinguished service, it is proposed to provide them the facility of 30% concession for travel in all classes and by all trains, including Shatabdi and Rajdhani services, after they attain the age of 60 years.

Concession for licensed porters

Acknowledging the significance of the services of licensed porters in making the journey of rail passengers comfortable, they have already been given the facility of one second class pass for self from their place of work to any station in India once a year. It has been decided that in future the licensed porters will also be extended the facility of one set of Privilege Ticket Order in second class every year for self and spouse for travel from the station of working to any station in India. With this facility, he/she will be able to travel with spouse by paying one-third fare.

Passenger Reservation Terminals

It is now proposed to provide PRS terminals on an experimental basis to travel agents authorised under the Rail Tourist Agents Scheme and Rail Travellers Service Agents Scheme of the Railways at their cost and with suitable safeguards, etc. in order to facilitate rail reservation for common man.
 

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