Volume 3 Issue 4 - February 15, 2005

NCPEDP submits budget recommendations for Railway and Union Budgets

DNIS News Network - On February 5, 2005, NCPEDP submitted its recommendations for the Railway Budget and the Union Budget vis--vis disability, to Shri Laloo Prasad Yadav, Union Minister of Railways and to Shri P. Chidambaram, Union Minister of Finance.

The recommendations for the Railway Budget 2005-06 are:

  1. Announce disability as a priority area for development.
  2. Spell out time-bound steps to fulfil the provisions for making railways disabled friendly.
  3. Earmark resources to make railway stations, coaches, waiting rooms, reservation centres, offices and other facilities disabled friendly.
  4. Extend concessions for disabled people in Rajdhani/Shatabdi Express.
  5. Modify the rule which states that for a hearing impaired person, in order to avail the concession, the person must be deaf and dumb. Concessions should be available to all hearing impaired people, including those, who may have learnt speech.
  6. Concessions should be uniform for all categories of persons with disabilities.
  7. Launch a special drive to clear the backlog of reserved vacancies for disabled people.
  8. Provide licences to disabled hawkers/vendors at the railway stations.
  9. Extend the facility of online ticket booking for disabled people.
  10. Provide support services to disabled travellers, such as providing assistants, interpreters, wheelchairs, etc at all railway stations.
  11. Plan for sensitising the railway officials on disability issues.
  12. Formulate a clear-cut policy for all new railway projects to include disability access, from the initial planning stage right upto completion.

The recommendations for the Union Budget 2005-06 are:

  1. Announce disability as a priority area for development in the Union Budget 2005-06.
  2. Introduce a composite plan for the disabled wherein all the concerned ninistries should allocate a certain percentage of their budget towards the implementation of the provisions under the Disability Act,1995.
  3. Spell out the incentives for the corporates to encourage employment of disabled people in the private sector.
  4. Announce a scheme for payment of an unemployment allowance to persons with disabilities registered with a Special Employment Exchange for more than two years.
  5. Formulate a scheme for social security to people with severe mental and neurological disabilities, who may not be able join the workforce.
  6. Increase the interest rate on the deposits of disabled people, as is being done for the senior citizens.
  7. Exempt excise duty on cars purchased by disabled people.
  8. Revise the list of aids and appliances on which concessions/exemption of customs duty is applicable.
  9. Provide incentives to attract multinational companies producing disability goods.
  10. Announce incentives to private builders for constructing disabled-friendly housing.
  11. Earmark a certain percentage of national resources for advanced research in disability related matters.
  12. Utilise resources from the National Fund for the Disabled for making the public buildings and public transport accessible for disabled people.

According to NCPEDP these recommendations were necessary to ensure disability was included as a priority. "Disability has always been seen as the responsibility of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. However, it is a cross cutting issue and should be part of all developmental and economic programmes," the Press Release elaborated.

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