- The total capital that is to be invested in the development of the railway sector is Rs 1, 31,000 crores.
- As part of the deep-seated re thinking on improving the country’s transportation architecture, this is for the first time in 92 years that a combined budget has been presented as the merger of the railway budget with the Union budget.
- This is a break from the colonial legacy of having a separate railway budget which was recommended by British politician William Ackworth in 1924.
- Passenger’s safety is also taken as a consideration this time.
- Our finance minister has revealed a fact regarding the Rashtriya Rail Sanraksha Kosh as it will be stated with a safety fund worth Rs 1 lakh crore over 5 years (20,000 crore per year).
- He said that clear guidelines for safety will be drawn out. FM Jaitley also said that all unmanned railway crossings will be eliminated by 2020.
- Railway lines of 3,500 km will be commissioned in 2017-2018.
- Railways have put up joint ventures with 9 state governments.
- At least 25 stations are to be awarded for redevelopment.
- Around 500 stations will be made disable-friendly.
- At least 7,000 stations will be feeded with solar power in the medium term
- Till now300 stations are already feeded with it
- He added that work will be taken up for 2000 stations as part of the government’s 1000 Megawatt solar mission.
- He also said that by 2019, all rail coaches will have bio-toilets.
- Service charges on e-tickets booked through the IRCTC website will be withdrawn in an effort to push digital transactions.
- Tariffs will be fixed taking into account cost of other forms of transport.
- Fares can be expected to rise.
- He also announced that Railway related state-run companies like IRCON and IRCTC to be listed on stock exchanges.
- Some steps will also be taken to launch pilgrimage trains.
- A new metro rail policy will be put in place.
SUMMARY OF THE RAILWAY BUDGET: