Finance minister Piyush Goyal announced capital expenditure programme of Railways at an all-time high of Rs 1.58 lakh crore in its budget for 2019-20 today, the highest ever for the national transporter, in an effort to put its flagging revenues back on track.
Presenting the budget in Lok Sabha today, Goyal said Indian Railways has achieved the safest year in its history. He added that unmanned level crossings on the broad gauge network have been completely eliminated.
Speaking about the world-class indigenous Train 18, now Vande Bharat Express, Goyal said that the new self-propelled train will be a flag bearer of speed, service and safety.
“This is a major leap in indigenous technology and will help promote ‘Make in India’ further and create jobs,” he said.
The allocation is about eight per cent more than last year’s Rs 1.48 lakh crore but the infusion of investment by the Modi government to upgrade the country’s archaic railway infrastructure makes it around 148 per cent hike in capex since 2014.
Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha said, “The way the government has increased the investment in railways, from installing CCTV cameras to WiFi, investment in railways should certainly be increased.”