Railway Budget 2018 – 2019
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will present the Railway Budget 2018 – 2019 along with the Union Budget in February 1,2018. In 2017, the Railway Budget was merged with the Union Budget, putting an end to the 92-year-old tradition of presenting it separately. The tradition of presenting the rail budget separately was a colonial era policy of British government based on the report by 10-member Acworth Committee in 1924.
This not just saves money of the Railways, but also time of parliamentarians by not having to approve and pass two separate bills. Earlier, this used to consume a lot of time but now with the merger, things have become quite simplified. Indian Railway Minster Piyush Goyal had said in November last year that the Railways is looking at innovative ways to finance its expenditure and does not need any funds from the Union Budget.
Railway Budget 2018
New India Budget to transform Railways into a modern, safe, green, affordable and comfortable mode of transport Drastically scaling up investments by almost three times to Rs 1,48,528 cr. in 2018-19 (BE) as against Rs 53,989 cr. in 2013-14 Highest priority to safety – total expenditure planned on safety activities including is Rs. 73,065 cr in 2018-19 (BE), Indian Railway announced through a press release.
Railways to electrify the entire network
600 Stations are to be developed with world class facilities. Escalators to be provided at all stations with passenger footfall above 25,000. Stations and trains will be provided with wi-fi facility for information and entertainment; CCTV cameras across all stations and trains for security
Improved suburban services to Mumbai with 90 kms line doubling of around Rs. 11,000 cr and 150 kms additional lines worth Rs. 40,000 cr for enhancing transportation in Mumbai with expansion of suburban railway system.
160 kms suburban network worth Rs. 17,000 cr in Bengaluru to help reduce congestion there and save commuting time of passengers.
Rail University at Vadodara to be set up
Operating ratio of 2018-19 (BE) is estimated at 92.8% as against 96% in 2017-18 (RE)
Total Revenue receipts in 2018-19 (BE) are estimated to increase by 7% to Rs. 2,01,090 cr.
Total Revenue expenditure in 2018-19 BE is estimated to increase by 4% to Rs. 1,88,100 cr.
The Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs, Shri Arun Jaitley, in his speech for General Budget 2018-19 has laid out a road map for Indian Railways, which is in line with Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s vision of New India by 2022. In the past four years, Government has taken several decisions to transform Railways into a modern, safe, green, affordable and comfortable mode of transport.
Subsequent to the presentation of the Budget in Parliament today, The Union Minister for Railways and Coal Shri Piyush Goyal informed that Government is drastically scaling up investments by almost three times to Rs 1,46,500 cr. in 2018-19 as against Rs 53,989 cr. in 2013-14to reduce accumulated backlog in capacity creation.Shri Goyal pointed out that this is 22% higher than 2017-18 (RE), and includes budgetary support of Rs. 53,060 cr; internal resources of Rs. 11,500 cr; IRFC to raise Rs. 28,500 cr; Institutional Finance (LIC) to support with Rs. 26,440 cr; and investment through PPP of Rs. 27,000 cr. Briefing the media persons, the Minister explained that Government has provided Rs.19,40Cr towards reimbursement of losses on operation of strategic lines and Rs 88Cr towards reimbursement of operational cost of e ticketing to IRCTC.
Physical Achievements and Initiatives
Shri Goyal also emphasized that in this Budget 2018-19, Government has accorded highest priority to safety in line with its philosophy of every life is precious. The total expenditure planned on safety activities including Rashtriya Rail Sanraksha Kosh (RRSK) is Rs. 68,725 cr in RE 2017-18 and Rs. 73,065 cr in BE 2018-19. The RRSK will comprise Rs. 5,000 cr from Capital (Budgetary Support), Rs. 10,000 cr from Railway Safety Fund received as Railways’ share from Central Road fund and Rs. 5,000 cr from Railways’ revenue. Apart from elimination of Unmanned Level Crossings on all busy routes and shift to production of safer LHB coaches, there is focus on track renewal with the highest ever outlay ever.
The Union Minister for Railways and Coal Shri Piyush Goyal said Indian Railways is powering India by being the main transporter of coal. Soon the power sector will give added energy to railways, which will electrify the entire network within the next 5 years. This will lead to an estimated saving of Rs. 10,000 cr per annum, help in reducing carbon emissions and promote sustainable development, besides increasing India’s energy security by saving foreign exchange on imported fuels.
The Minister also informed that 600 Stations are to be developed with world class facilities. Escalators will be provided at all stations with passenger footfall above 25,000. All railway stations and trains will be provided with wi-fi facility for information and entertainment. This will also enable people in rural areas, including women and youth, to access the internet and enhance their knowledge and skills. To enhance safety and security of passengers, Indian Railways will set up CCTV cameras across all stations and trains to enhance security.
Considering that Railways is one of the safest, economical and sustainable modes of transport, Shri Goyal said Railways will focus on providing improved suburban services to metros like Mumbai with90 kms line doubling of around Rs. 11,000 cr. In addition, 150 kilometers of additional suburban network is being planned Rs. 40,000 crore for enhancing transportation in Mumbai with expansion of suburban railway system. Railways will also build 160 kms suburban network worth Rs. 17,000 cr in Bengaluru to help reduce congestion there and save commuting time of passengers.
In the General Budget 2018-19, Government has also approved setting up of India’s first Rail and Transportation University in Vadodara, Gujarat. Railways has ambitiously increased targets in capacity building to ease the network and ensure highest standards of safety, speed and service for customers.
Summary of Budget for Railway
- Rs.148528 Lakh crore total allocation for Railways
- 600 Major railway stations to be modernized
- 12000 Wagons, 5160 coaches, 700 Locomotives to be procured
- 4267 unmanned railway crossing to be eliminated by 2020
- 36000 km rail track to be renewed