Railway sector gets largest ever allocation: Budget 2017

Q.  Indian Railways will focus on which of the following areas for the coming fiscal, as per the Budget?
- Published on 03 Feb 17

a. Passenger Safety
b. Cleanliness
c. Women Security
d. Only a and b

ANSWER: Only a and b
 
First railway budget in 93 years to be announced as part of the Union budget announced the largest ever allocation of INR. 1.3 trillion to Indian Railways, with a gross budgetary support of INR. 55,000 crore.

National carrier will focus on 4 major areas: passenger safety, capital and development works, cleanliness and finance and accounting reforms—matters traditionally announced by the Union railway minister.

Highlights

A corpus of INR 1 trillion for a rail safety fund to be spent over five years; solar power for 7,000 railway stations;

Redevelopment of 25 railway stations;

70 projects for construction and development through joint ventures with nine state governments;

Commissioning of 3,500km railway lines in 2017-2018, up from 2,800 km in 2016-17.

The budget also proposed stock market listing of railway enterprises like Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), Ircon International Ltd and Indian Railways Finance Corporation (IRFC), and end-to-end transport solutions by Indian Railways in selected commodities by partnering logistics companies.

The budget also waived service charges on railway e-tickets to encourage cashless transactions and made AC class tickets cheaper by INR 40 and sleeper class by INR 20.

The solar power which will help Indian Railways accomplish its Mission 41K, a plan to save INR 41,000 crore in next 10 years by electrifying 90 percent of railway lines, and also reduce expenditure on power was announced

Railways’ plans to develop 1,000 mega-watt (MW) solar (power) at 7,000 stations creates distributed solar ecosystem across India.

100 percent electrification of rural areas should also integrate solar distributed generation as part of the scheme for better reliability.

Freight loading is expected at 1,165 million tonnes (MT) in 2017-18, which is 71.50MT over revised estimates 2016-17 and earnings at Rs1,18,998 crore.

Railways is expected to earn Rs50,125 crore in passenger traffic, taking total receipts to Rs1,89,498.37 crore.

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