Railways received a budgetary allocation of Rs 65,837 crore and highest ever outlay for capital expenditure amounting to Rs 1.60 lakh crore in the Budget for the year 2019-20, which includes a whopping 200% increase in funds for passenger amenities. In the interim Budget, the allocation was Rs 1.58 lakh crore.
- Last year, the outlay for the railways was Rs 1.48 lakh crore.
- The Budget allocation was Rs 55,088 crore.
Funds allocated in the Budget 2019-20,
- Rs 7,255 crore for construction of new lines
- Rs 2,200 crore for gauge conversion
- Rs 700 crore for doubling
- Rs 6,114.82 crore for rolling stock
- Rs 1,750 crore for signalling and telecom.
The allocations have remained the same as in the interim budget presented in February this year.
- The railway infrastructure would need an investment of Rs 50 lakh crores between 2018 and 2030, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, while presenting the Budget, said
- The Minister proposed that a public private partnership (PPP) be used to unleash faster development and delivery of passenger freight services for railway projects to boost connectivity.
- She said,”Railways will be encouraged to invest in suburban railways through special purpose vehicles (SPVs) and enhance metro rail network through PPPs.”
- Government envisions using rivers for cargo transportation, which will also decongest roads and railways, she said.
- Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said,”We have drawn up a whole programme. Some of the old projects like 100 percent electrification, advanced signalling, station development was already there. Now, we have to worked out how to create additional capacities, so that our modal share of freight can go up, the cost of logistics start coming down and our passengers along with good amenities get more and more avenues to travel by trains to reach their preferred destination.”
- He said,”All this will entail more doubling, tripling, new dedicated freight corridors, some semi high speed freight corridors, very large gamut of investments in different sectors, regional connectivity, connectivity to aspirational districts. We have worked this out both through government expenditure and through public-private partnership.”
- The Finance Minister in her speech proposed the use of PPP model to unleash faster development and completion of tracks, rolling stock manufacturing and delivery of passenger freight services.
- Railway stations modernisation will also be launched this year, she added.
- The national transporter will invest in creating metro coaches and stock, showing confidence in its manufacturing units, which have produced state of the art coaches like in Train 18 and is in the process of manufacturing Train 20, the railway minister also said.