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  1 ‘23’  PRESS INFORMATION BUREAU GOVERNMENT OF INDIA *****   RAIL BUDGET SEEKS COURSE CORRECTION, AVOIDS POPULISM NO INCREASE IN RAIL FARE STRESS ON RESOURCE MOBILIZATION THROUGH PSU SURPLUS, FDI AND PPP BULLET TRAIN ON AHMEDABAD-MUMBAI CORRIDOR PROPOSED, SPEED OF TRAINS TO BE INCREASED IN NINE SECTORS MORE THRUST ON PASSENGER AMENITIES, CLEANLINESS & EFFICIENT STATION MANAGEMENT MULTI PRONGED APPROACH FOR IMPROVING SAFETY & SECURITY, 4000 WOMEN RPF CONSTABLES TO BE RECRUITED REVAMPING RAILWAY RESERVATION SYSTEM INTO NEXT GENERATION E-TICKETING, WI-FI SERVICES IN MAJOR STATIONS & IN SELECT TRAINS, MOBILE BASED WAKEUP CALLS FOR PASSENGERS 58 NEW TRAINS INTRODUCED; 11 EXISTING TRAINS EXTENDED RAILWAY UNIVERSITY AND INNOVATION INCUBATION CENTRE TO BE SET UP TOP PRIORITY TO TRANSPARENCY, E-PROCUREMENT TO BE MADE COMPULSORY IN HIGHER PURCHASE, ONLINE REGISTRATION FOR WAGONS IN NEXT TWO MONTHS HIGHEST EVER PLAN OUTLAY OF 65,445 CRORE WITH HIGHER ALLOCATION FOR SAFETY MEASURES  New Delhi, July 08, 2014 Ashadha 17, 1936 Increased passenger amenities, more safety measures, timely completion of projects and increased financial discipline are the main highlights of the Railway Budget 2014-15  presented by the Minister of Railways Shri D. V. Sadananda Gowda in Parliament today. The Budget seeks course correction in the light of mismanagement, apathy, populism in starting projects and severe fund crunch that have inflicted the railways over the years, the Minister averred. For this, structural reforms will be introduced and resources will be mobilized through PSU surplus, FDI and PPP. The Budget proposes multi-pronged approach to make Railway journey safe and secure and comfortable for passengers. More thrust has been placed on passenger amenities, cleanliness and efficient station management. Now all major stations will have foot-over  bridges, escalators, lifts etc. On safety and security, the Budget has proposed introduction of advance technology for rail-flaw detection to check causes of accidents, a significant amount has been kept for RAILWAY BUDGET 2014-15  2 road-over and road-under bridges and a pilot project will be launched on automatic door closing in mainline and sub-urban coaches. In order to make women safer while travelling, the Railway will recruit 4000 women constables. Coaches for ladies will be escorted. IT initiatives get a big boost in the Budget. Revamping Railway Reservation System into Next Generation e-Ticketing will be taken up with provision of platform tickets and unreserved tickets also over internet. The Railway has proposed real-time tracking of trains and rolling stocks, mobile based Wakeup Call System for passengers, mobile based destination arrival alert and Wi-fi Services in A-1 and A category stations and in select trains. Indian Railways has also planned paperless offices in 5 years. In order to make Railway management more efficient, Budget has proposed setting up of Railway University for training in both technical and non-technical subjects besides establishing Innovations and Incubation Centre to harness the ideas generated from staff. In a bid to modernise Indian Railway network, Bullet train has been proposed on Mumbai-Ahmadabad sector besides increasing speed of trains to 160-200 kmph in select 9 sectors. The Railway has also planned setting up of Diamond Quadrilateral Network of High Speed Rail connecting major metros and growth centers of the country. Identified stations will be developed to international standards with modern facilities on lines of newly developed airports through PPP mode. Railway has also proposed harnessing solar energy  by utilizing roof top spaces of stations, railway buildings and land. To augment resources of Railways, the Budget has proposed schemes to facilitate  procurement of parcel vans and rakes by private parties, special milk tanker trains, increased movement of fruits and vegetables in partnership with Warehousing Corporation and setting up Private Freight Terminals on PPP model. The Railway has proposed to bring in more transparency in administration and execution of projects. The status of ongoing projects will be available online, E-procurement will be made compulsory for procurement of higher amount and online registration of demands for wagons will be introduced within next two months. The Budget has passenger centric focus on suburban and metropolitan rail services. 864 additional state-of-the-art EMUs will be introduced in Mumbai in two years. Study to explore possibility of enhancing existing railway network for better connectivity needs of Bangaluru will be taken up. The Railway Budget 2014-15 has proposed 58 new trains besides extending 11 existing trains. Provision has been made for 28 surveys for new lines and doubling or gauge conversion of lines. Higher funds have been proposed for ongoing projects in Northeast and remote areas. Special packaged trains on identified pilgrim circuits, two tourist trains and a special train featuring life and work of Swami Vivekananda has been proposed in the Budget. According to the Budget estimates, the Railways will earn 1,64,374 crore through various resources and will spend 1,49,176 crore during 2014-15. The operating ratio is expected to be 92.5% which is 1% better than that in 2013-14. MKP/HK/NCJ/BS  3 ‘23’  RAILWAY BUDGET 2014-15 PRESS INFORMATION BUREAU GOVERNMENT OF INDIA *****   BUDGET COMES IN THE FACE OF HUGE FUND REQUIREMENT, INCOMPLETE PROJECTS RAILWAYS NEED TO BALANCE COMMERCIAL AND WELFARE OBJECTIVES  New Delhi, July 08, 2014 Ashadha 17, 1936 The Minister of Railways Shri D. V. Sadananda Gowda, while presenting the Railway Budget for 2014-15 in Parliament today, said that the Indian Railways practically carries anything and everything and it never says no to ‘a thing’ if it fits in the wagons. Most importantly, it is the backbone of supply chain of the defence establishment and plays a very crucial role in security of the nation. While it carries 23 million passengers a day, there are still large number of people who have not set a foot on a train yet. It carries over one-billion tonnes of freight a year, connecting ports and mines to industrial clusters, but still there are vast tracts of hinterland waiting for rail connectivity. Though freight business has grown steadily over the years, Indian Railways carry only 31% of the total freight carried in the country by all modes. These are the challenges we have to face. An organization of this magnitude vested with varied responsibilities, is expected to earn like a commercial enterprise but serve like a welfare organization. These two objectives are like two rails of the railway track, which though travel together but never meet. So far, Indian Railways have managed to do tight-rope walking by balancing these twin conflicting objectives. It implies that we spend 94 paise out of every rupee earned, leaving 6 paise only as surplus. This surplus, apart from being meager, is continuously on decline due to non-revision of fare. The surplus, after paying obligatory dividend and lease charges, was Rs.11,754 crore in 2007-08 and is estimated to be Rs. 602 crore in the current financial year. This meager surplus so generated is required to finance the Plan Outlay for safety, capacity expansion, infrastructure, improving passenger services and amenities. Funds to the tune of about Rs. 5 lakh crore i.e. around Rs. 50,000 crore per year for next 10 years, are required for ongoing projects alone. This leaves a huge gap between what is available as surplus and what is needed.  4 While prudent efforts should have been made to address this gap, the tariff policy adopted lacked rational approach. Passenger fares were kept lower than costs, thus causing loss in the passenger train operations. This loss kept on increasing from 10 paise per  passenger kilometer in 2000-01 to 23 paise in 2012-13, as the passenger fares were kept low always. There has been focus on sanctioning projects rather than completing them. In the last 30 years, as many as 676 projects were sanctioned worth Rs. 1,57,883 crore. Of these, only 317 projects could be completed and 359 projects remain to be completed which will now require as much as Rs. 1,82,000 crore. In the last 10 years, 99 New Line projects worth Rs. 60,000 crore were sanctioned out of which only one project is complete till date. In fact, there are 4 projects that are as old as 30 years, but are still not complete for one reason or another. The more projects we add, the thinner we spread our resources and longer it takes to complete them. If this trend is allowed to continue, many more thousands of crore will get spent yielding hardly any returns, the Minister said. MKP/HK/SK/RS


Jul 23, 2017
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