Union Budget 2017: Railways get Rs 55000-crore boost, will have better safety, no fare hikes

There are indications that the Railways may present a rosier picture by deliberately keeping the expenditure figures low

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: February 1, 2017 5:25:19 pm
indian railways, railway ministry, suresh prabhu, Railway Board Secretariat Service, india news There are indications that the Railways may present a rosier picture by deliberately keeping the expenditure figures low

Presenting a combined budget for the first time in 92 years, Finance Minister Arun Jatiley on Wednesday allocated Rs 55000-crore for the railways and said that the functional autonomy of the institution will be maintained. “Railways and roads are the lifeline of the country. Feel proud to present the first combined budget,” said Jaitley. The finance minister revealed that the railways will focus on major areas such as safety and cleanliness. He announced that the setting up of a Rs 1 lakh crore special fund, Rashtriya Rail Sanrakshan Kosh (RRSK), for a five-year safety upgrade. Unmanned level crossings will be eliminated by 2020, Jaitley said. He also said that the railways will usher in competitive ticketing facilities and withdrew the service charge on tickets booked through IRCTC. A new metro rail policy is also in the works, Jaitley revealed. Among other things, Jaitley said that 25 new railways stations will be developed and 500 stations will be equipped with lifts and escalators for the differently-abled.

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Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced the Plan size for the next fiscal for the Railways at Rs 1,31,000 crore as against Rs 1.21 lakh crore last year. He proposed creation of ‘Rashtriya Rail Sanraksha Kosh’ (National Rail Safety Fund) with a corpus of Rs 1 lakh crore. Emphasising on safety, the Budget proposed elimination of all unmanned level crossings on the broad gauge network by 2020.

Addressing concerns of the differently-abled persons, Jaitley announced that 500 stations would be made disbaled friendly. The Budget also promised to equip all coaches with bio toilets and announced “Clean my coach’ App for passengers.

In order to encourage E-ticketing, Jaitley announced withdrawal of service charges from tickets booked through IRCTC. Railway PSUs IRCTC, IRFC and Concor are to be listed on various stock exchanges.

Key highlights: 

# Railways and roads are the lifeline of the country. Feel proud to present the first combined budget, says Jaitley.

#  Jaitley announces Rs 55000 crore for Railways.

# Railways will focus on four major areas: safety, cleanliness, accounting reforms and…

# Safety fund with corpus of Rs 1 lakh crore for five years.

# Unmanned level crossings will be eliminated by 2020

# Will offer competitive ticketing facility. Service charge while booking through IRCTC is withdrawn.

# Railway stations to be made differently abled-friendly by providing lifts, escalators: Jaitley

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# By 2019, all coaches of Indian Railways will be fitted with Bio-toilets: FM Arun Jaitley

# A proposal to redevelop 25 new railway stations in FY18 was also mooted.

# A new metro rail policy will be announced, this will open up new jobs for our youth: FM Jaitley

(with inputs from PTI)

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