As it happened: Railway Budget 2015

Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu said best efforts were being made to fulfil people’s aspiration in the NDA government’s first full-fledged Rail Budget.

Updated - December 04, 2021 11:04 pm IST

Published - February 26, 2015 09:59 am IST

Union Minister for Railways Suresh Prabhu adding final touches to the Railway Budget. Photo: Prashant Nakwe

Union Minister for Railways Suresh Prabhu adding final touches to the Railway Budget. Photo: Prashant Nakwe

13:14 pm: Kisan Yatra — a special travel scheme for farmers finds mention in Rail Minister Suresh Prabhu's speech

13:13 pm: Skill-development and self-employment to be encouraged on Konkan Railway mode: RM

13:12 pm: Four Railway Research Centres to start in four universities: RM

13:12 pm: 100 DEMUs to be converted to dual fuels: RM

13:10 pm: Investment in Indian Railways is an investment in our future, sustainability says Rail Minister Suresh Prabhu.

13:10 pm: Making efforts to get noise levels of locos to international standards: RM

Scenes from railways stations during presentation of the Railway Budget 2015-16. Photo: Sandeep Saxena

13:10 pm: Water-recycling plants to be set up after a water audit: RM

13:09 pm: 1,000-MV solar plants to be set-up by developers on Railway Pvt. Land and on railway building at own cost: RM

13:08 pm: To impart soft skills to our staff we intend to impart regular training to our staff: RM

13:08 pm: We have set up an environment directive in Railway Board: RM

13:07 pm: Yoga training will be given to railway guards: RM

13:07 pm: Monetisation of Railway resources rather than selling assets will be the focus: RM

13:06 pm: Rs.2,000 cr for Coastal Connectivity Program; Rs.2,500 cr through BOT/Annuity route. 1,000-MW solar plant; 100 DEMUs to dual fuel: RM

13:05 pm: Process and procedures simplified to prevent delays; internal audit of systems

Scenes from railways stations during presentation of the Railway Budget 2015-16. Photo: Sandeep Saxena

13:05 pm: Encroachment on Railway land a serious issue, digitised mapping of land has been initiated to counter this: RM

13:05 pm: Digitised mapping of Railway land has begun to check encorachment: RM

13:05 pm: Plan size increased by 52%; 41.6% GBS; 17.8% internal generation: RM

13:04 pm: Financing Cell to be set up to increase revenue: Rail Minister Suresh Prabhu

13:02 pm: Rail Minister Suresh Prabhu proposes systems audit for entire Railways in next few months

13:01 pm: Decentralise, deregulate and delegate to make freight business simpler: RM

13:01 pm: JV with major public sector companies for meeting requirements of new lines: RM

13:00 pm: Will set up ‘Kayakalp’ to help in Technology Upgradation: RM

Scenes from railways stations during presentation of the Railway Budget 2015-16. Photo: Sandeep Saxena

13:00 pm: Framework to facilitate private investment has been readied; MUTP-III, JV with states,PSUs: RM

12:59 pm: PPP cell to be revamped to make it result-oriented & a new Model Concession Agreement will be launched: RM

12:58 pm: I propose to move from preventive to predictive maintenance of Railways: RM

12:56 pm: We intend to introduce technology portal to invite innovative technological solutions: RM

12:55 pm: Corporate safety plans; ISRO to be involved; 3,438 level crossings to be eliminated, railway expenses increased by 2,600% :RM

12:54 pm: Rail Minister Suresh Prabhu proposes PPP cooperation for end-to-end logistics management at select stations

12:54 pm: Feasibility study for High Speed Rail between Mumbai and Ahmadabad is in advanced stage and is expected by mid-year: RM

12:53 pm: Safety is of paramount importance: RM

12:53 pm: Studies being commissoned for high-speed trains on other routes on the diamond quadrilateral: RM

12:51 pm: Speedier Railways — 9 hi-speed corridors, high-speed trains, Make in India opportunities: RM

12:51 pm: Speed on nine railway corridors to go up to 200 km/hour: RM

12:50 pm: Speed will be increased, so Delhi-Kolkata journey can be done overnight: RM

12:49 pm: Newly manufactured coaches will be Braille-enabled and have wider entrances for differently-abled passengers: RM

12:49 pm: Private freight terminals reviewing of WLS, SFTO, PFT schemes under process; automatic freight rebate system launched and to be expanded: RM

12:48 pm: 917 road under-bridges and over-bridges to be constructed to replace 3,438 railway crossings with Rs. 6,581 crore: RM

12:48 pm: State-of-the-art perishable cargo center under completion for farmers: RM

12:47 pm: Uproar as Suresh Prabhu asks MPs to donate from MPLAD funds for improving passenger amenities

12: 46 pm: TRANSLOC — new PSU — end to end logistics solution: RM

12:46 pm: 1,330% increase in railway electrification over previous year: RM

Scenes from railways stations during presentation of the Railway Budget 2015-16. Photo: Sandeep Saxena

12:46 pm: Railway connectivity for North Eastern State and J&K — ongoing process major thrust: RM

12:45 pm: Debottlenecking — traffic facility works — 100% more funds allocated: RM

12:44 pm: Fast-track highest priority works. Investment 84% higher; 77 new projects — Doubling, tripling/quadrupling/ electrification: RM

12:43 pm: WiFi services will be made available at 400 railway stations: RM

12:43 pm: Train arrival and departure will be messaged, women and senior citizens can get middle berth with ease: RM

12:42 pm: 67% more funds allotted for passenger amenities: RM

12:40 pm: Station to be redeveloped through simpler processes — faster redevelopment. Monitoring cell constituted: RM

12:39 pm: Rail tickets can now be booked 120 days in advance: RM

12:38 pm: Rs.120 crore provided for lifts and escalators to facilitate movements: RM

12:38 pm: Passengers will be able to buy tickets in five minutes; e-catering in 108 trains; SMS on mobile ok for travel: RM

12:37 pm: Nirbhaya funds to be utilised for security of women: RM

12: 36 pm: Facility of self-operated lockers at stations and mobile-phone-charging facilities in general class: RM

12:35 pm: Mobile-phones-charging facilities in all train compartments: RM

12:35 pm: Modern facilities for disabled citizens, senior citizens, patients through IRCTC: RM

12:34 pm: Surveillance cameras in select coaches and ladies compartments for women's safety without compromising on privacy: RM

12:33 pm: SMS alert on mobiles, customer portals, promoting digital India campaign: RM

12:32 pm: Unreserved ticket purchase made simplier through smart phones; debit cards — OPN 5 Min: RM

12:31 pm: 17,000 bio-toilets in trains; airplane type toilets too: RM

12:29 pm: All india 24 X 7 helpline 138 from March 1, 2015 ; toll-free no: 182 — for security complaints: RM

12:28 pm: We will Increase track length by 20 per cent and passenger capacity from 21 to 30 million: RM

12:28 pm: Private agencies to be roped in for cleanliness drive: RM

12:27 pm: We will have partnership with private sector for last-mile connectivity: RM

12:26 pm: No increase in rail fare: RM

12:25 pm: Operating ratio proposed at 88.5%. Best ever in 9 years: RM

12:22 pm: 8.5 lakh crore rupees to be invested in the railways in the next 5 years: RM

12:21 pm: Railways continue to be our precious national asset: RM

12:20 pm: 4 Goals for transformation of Indian Railways: RM

12:19 pm: One of primary objectives is to increasing financial health of India: RM

12:18 pm: Goal 1-Customer experience to receive a huge boost, Goal 2 - Safer Travel: Goal 3 -Modernize infrastructure; Goal 4- Indian Railways- Financially self-sustainable : RM

12:17 pm: Improvement of connectivity an imperative: RM

12:16 pm: Good governance emerges out of participative governance – people’s involvement very high with railways: RM

12:15 pm: Railway has suffered from a vicious cycle of underinvestment for long time leading to deterioration: RM

12:14 pm: Government has to work for the poor: RM

12:13 pm: 492 sections of IR -running at a capacity of more than 100%; 228 running between 80-100% : RM

12:11 pm: Railway is a unique integrator of India: RM

12:10 pm: Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu started Railway Budget speech in the Parliament.

12:02 pm: Stocks of companies dependent on Indian Railways surge ahead of the presentation of the Railway Budget 2015-16. >Read here

11:55 am: Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu gathered around by the media outside the Parliament. Photo: Sandeep Saxena

11:45 am: “There is a general expectation that the freight rates would be reduced due to the fall in diesel prices,” Ernst and Young Partner and PPP Leader Abhaya Agarwal told The Hindu . >Read here

11:44 am: We will keep in mind long term interest of Railways & interests of common man & try to balance both: Suresh Prabhu

11:40 am: Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu arrives at the Parliament to present Rail Budget. Photo: Sandeep Saxena

11:39 am: We have to make Railway Ministry of India a globally benchmark organisation in safety, security & infrastructure: Suresh Prabhu

11:38 am: We have to get investments and become highly competitive in quality of services we offer: Suresh Prabhu on priorities of Railway Budget 2015.

11:35 am: Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu reaches Parliament to present his maiden Rail Budget.

11:33 am:

11:28 am:FAQ - What is Plan and Non-Plan Expenditure?

Plan expenditure is associated with productive expenditure, which increases the productive capacity and modernisation of the Railway network.

Non-plan revenue expenditure is accounted for by interest payments, wage and salary payments to Railway employees, repairs and maintenance of Railway assets, operating expenses, fuel for traction purposes, security and other items of Railway operations and administration.

11:24 am: For 10 years before 2012-13, there was no increase in rail fares. Then Railway Minister and Trinamool Congress leader Dinesh Trivedi had made an across-the-board hike in 2012-13 but was made to roll back the hike in second and sleeper class categories. Since then there have been hikes in passenger fares.

11:15 am: Railway Budget: What does the common man expect? >Read here

11:13 am: FAQ - What are the different components of the Railway Budget?

Article 112 of the Constitution of India stipulates that Government should lay before the Parliament an Annual Financial Statement popularly referred to as ‘Budget’. The Railway Budget presented to Parliament, besides the Railway Minister's Budget speech consists of the following documents -

1. Budget of the Railway Revenue and Expenditure

2. Demands for Grants and detailed Demands for Grants

3. Explanatory Memorandum

4. Works, Machinery and Rolling Stock Programme.

5. Performance and Outcome Budget.

6. Appropriation Bill

7. Memorandum explaining the increase in fare and freight rates.

11:07 am: K. Balakesari, a former member staff of Railway Board writes for The Hindu : Railways, reforms and resistance .>Read here

11:03 am: Odisha is pinning high hopes on the first railway budget of Narendra Modi Government to be presented today. >Read here

10:58 am: What does the 2015-16 Railway Budget mean to the passengers? Demands include increase in number of trains and track doubling. >Read here

10:50 am: What do you expect from this year's railway budget? Let us know by tweeting with #THRailBudget

10:35 am: Mr. Suresh Prabhu had maintained earlier that before increasing the fares, there should be improvement in passenger amenities. >Read here

10:33 am: Use of solar energy in a big way, launching of waste-to-energy project and proliferation of CNG in train operations are some of the green initiatives likely to be announced in the Rail Budget this time. >Read here

10:28 am: Currently, 676 railway projects worth Rs. 1,57,883 crore have been sanctioned. Out of these, only 317 could be completed and the remaining 359 will now call for as much as Rs. 1,82,000 crore. >Read here

10:24 am: Sensex gains 61 points in opening trade ahead of Rail Budget. >Read here

10:15 am: Ahead of the presentation of the Railway Budget, South Central Railway officials revealed that a whopping Rs. 14,583 crore is required for 26 ongoing projects under SCR’s jurisdiction that spans Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, parts of Karnataka, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu. >Read here

10:05 am: Security personnel carrying Railway Budget documents to the Parliament in New Delhi on Thursday. Photo: Sandeep Saxena

What to expect?

1. Launching of waste-to-energy project and proliferation of CNG in train operations.

2. Solar energy to illuminate coaches, station buildings and platforms, there are plans for solar energy generation plants in production units and workshops.

3. Maximum use of alternative fuel in rail operations.

4. Separate chapter in the Rail Budget listing a series of environmental initiatives including proposal to tap wind energy by setting up windmills along the tracks.

5. Proposal to set up a plant for producing energy from waste, a first of its kind exercise in the public transporter.

6. Announcement of a new integrated management system certification of all major workshops and production units covering quality, occupational health and safety.

7. Proposal to change design of locomotive cabin to reduce the noise level. Aim is to improve the design to achieve the limits laid down in US standards.

8. Make in India initiatives for railways as well.

9. Road map for attracting private investment for the Indian Railways, which badly needs funds for completion of many crucial rail projects.

>Best efforts made to fulfil people’s aspirations, says Prabhu

Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu is set to present the Rail Budget 2015-16 on Thursday in the Lok Sabha.

Mr. Prabhu had said best efforts were being made to fulfil people’s aspiration in the NDA government’s first full-fledged Rail Budget. He had maintained earlier that before increasing the fares, there should be improvement in passenger amenities.

10: 00 am: Welcome to The Hindu 's live coverage on the railway budget for the year 2015-16.

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