INDIAN RAILWAY BUDGET 2015-16 HIGHLIGHTS

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Last updated: Feb, 2015

The Union Railway Budget for 2015-16 was presented by Mr Suresh Prabhu, Union Minister for Railways, Government of India, on February 26, 2015.

Budget Highlights:

  • Indian Railways to become prime mover of economy once again.
  • Railways to continue to be the preferred mode of transport for the masses.
  • Make Rail a safer means of travel.
  • Expand Bhartiya Rail’s capacity substantially and modernise infrastructure. Increase daily passenger carrying capacity from 21 million to 30 million, increase track length by 20 per cent from 114,000 km to 138,000 km and increase annual freight carrying capacity from 1 billion tonnes (BT) to 1.5 BT.
  • Target to make Indian Railway financially self-sustainable. Generate large surpluses from operations not only to service the debt needed to fund India’s capacity expansion, but also to invest on an on-going basis to replace our depreciating assets.
  • Indian Railways envisages investment of Rs 8.5 trillion (US$ 137.28 billion) over the next five years to be mobilized from multiple sources to cater to funding i.e multilateral development banks, pension funds.
  • Gross Budgetary Support of Rs 40,000 crore (US$ 6.46 billion) for the Railway’s Annual Plan. Rs 1,645.60 crore (US$ 265.79 million) has also been provided as Railway’s share of diesel cess from the Central Road Fund. Market borrowing under EBR projected at Rs 17,655 crore (US$ 2.85 billion), an increase of about 46.5 per cent.
  • Plan Budget up by 52 per cent from Rs 65,798 crore (US$ 10.63 billion) to Rs 100,011 crore (US$ 16.15 billion) in 2015-16. Support from the Central Government 41.6 per cent of the Plan and internal generation 17.8 per cent; setting up of a Financing Cell in the Railway Board.
  • Targeted operating ratio for 2015-16 at 88.5 per cent against 91.8 per cent in 2014-15: best in the last 9 years.
  • Trains to become more punctual in the next 5 years. The department will focus on improving speed of Railways. Major thrust will be on gauge conversion and electrification.
  • No increase in passenger fares.
  • New department for cleanliness, integrated cleaning by engaging professional agencies and staff training, ‘waste to energy’ conversion plants, new toilets covering 650 additional stations compared to 120 stations last year.
  • Passengers without reservations can book tickets in 5 minutes.
  • Hand-held terminals to Travelling Ticket Examiners (TTEs) for verification of passengers and downloading charts.
  • Introduction of a centrally managed Railway Display Network acroo 2,000 stations in next two years.
  • "SMS Alert" service to inform passengers in advance of the updated arrival/departure time of trains at starting or destination stations.
  • Surveillance cameras provided on a pilot basis in selected mainline coaches and ladies’ compartments of suburban coaches without intruding into privacy.
  • Project for introducing on-board entertainment on select Shatabdi trains on license fee basis launched.
  • 200 more stations to come under Adarsh Station scheme; Wi - Fi to be provided at B category stations.
  • 77 projects covering 9,400 km of doubling/tripling/quadrupling works along with electrification, covering almost all States, at a cost of Rs 96,182 crore (US$ 15.53 billion) which is over 2700 per cent higher in terms of amount sanctioned.
  • In the North East States, Meghalaya to be brought on the Railway map of India and to be directly connected to Delhi. Barak Valley to be connected.
  • Acceleration of pace of Railway electrification: 6,608 route kilometers sanctioned for 2015-16 ,an increase of 1330 per cent over the previous year.
  • Transport Logistics Corporation of India (TRANSLOC), to be set up for developing common user facilities with handling and value-added services to provide end-to-end logistics solution at select Railway terminals through public-private partnerships (PPP).
  • Speed of 9 railway corridors to be increased from existing 110 and 130 kmph to 160 and 200 kmph respectively, so that inter-metro journeys like Delhi-Kolkotta and Delhi-Mumbai can be completed overnight.
  • Feasibility study for High Speed Rail between Mumbai-Ahmedabad is at an advanced stage and report is expected by mid-2015. For other high speed routes on the diamond quadrilateral, studies are being commissioned.
  • PPP cell to be revamped to make it result oriented.
  • 'Foreign Rail Technology Cooperation scheme' to be launched.
  • Solar Power as part of the Solar Mission of Railways. 1,000 megawatt (MW) solar plants will be set up by developers on Railway/private land and Railway buildings with subsidy/viability gap funding support of Ministry of Non-Renewable Energy in next five years.
  • Incredible Rail for Incredible India to be launched. Promotion of training of auto-rickshaw and taxi-operators as tourist-guides on the model of Konkan Railway.
  • IRCTC to work on promoting the Gandhi circuit to attract tourists to mark the occasion of 100 years of the return of Mahatma Gandhi to India from South Africa. IRCTC to work on Kisan Yatra, a special travel scheme for farmers for farming & marketing technique centres.

Click here for the full speech of the Railway Budget 2015-16.

x IBEF : India Brand Equity Foundation