The Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs, Mr. Arun Jaitley, in his speech for General Budget 2018-19 has laid out a roadmap for Indian Railways, which is in line with Hon’ble Prime Minister Mr. 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 Mr. 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. Mr. 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 mediapersons, 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 & 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.