Budget 2022

Union Budget 2019-20: Railways get highest ever outlay of ₹1.60 lakh crore

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman proposed a capital expenditure of ₹1,60,175.64 crore for the Railways Ministry for 2019-20 in Budget 2019. This is the highest-ever allocation for the national transporter, surpassing last year’s ₹1,48,528 crore.

Saying the Railways network will require an investment of about ₹50 lakh crore till 2030, the Minister pitched for public private partnership (PPP) model to achieve faster development.

The outlay comprises ₹65,837 crore from budgetary support, ₹267.64 crore from the Nirbhaya Fund, ₹10,500 crore from Internal Resources and ₹83,571 crore from Extra Budgetary Resources.

While ₹7,255 crore has been allocated for construction of new lines, gauge conversion received ₹2,200 crore, doubling ₹700 crore, rolling stock ₹6,114.82 crore and signalling and telecom received ₹1,750 crore. The allocation for passenger amenities has been increased by ₹1,000 crore to ₹3,422 crore.

“It is estimated that Railway Infrastructure would need an investment of ₹50 lakh crore between 2018-2030. Given that the capital expenditure outlays of Railways are around ₹1.5 to ₹1.6 lakh crores per annum, completing even all sanctioned projects would take decades. It is therefore proposed to use Public-Private Partnership to unleash faster development and completion of tracks, rolling stock manufacturing and delivery of passenger freight services,” Ms. Sitharaman said.

She said the government would launch a massive programme of railway station modernisation this year.

The government expects its revenue receipts to increase by ₹19,721 crore to ₹2,16,935 crore this year. As per the Budget documents, the government expects the earnings from passengers to grow to ₹56,000 crore from ₹52,000 crore in 2018-19, and from goods to grow by more than ₹10,000 crore to ₹1,31,565 crore.

Railways’ major out go continues to be ‘staff costs’ at ₹86,740 crore.

Ms. Sitharaman added, “Indian Railways suburban and long-distance services do a phenomenal task in cities like Mumbai and smaller cities. Railways will be encouraged to invest more in suburban railways through Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) structures like Rapid Regional Transport System (RRTS) proposed on the Delhi-Meerut route.”

She proposed to enhance the metro railway initiatives by encouraging more PPP initiatives and ensuring completion of sanctioned works, while supporting transit oriented development to ensure commercial activity around transit hubs. “We are in the process of completing the dedicated freight corridor project that will free up some of the existing railway network for passenger trains,” she added.

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Printable version | Jun 30, 2022 9:24:28 am | https://www.thehindu.com/business/budget/union-budget-2019-20-railways-get-highest-ever-outlay-of-160-lakh-crore/article28298392.ece