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Indian Railway Budget 2016-17 Highlights

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Last updated: Feb, 2016

Budget Estimates 2016-17

  • Gross Traffic Receipts estimated at Rs 184,820 crore (US$ 26.9 billion), a growth of 10.1 per cent.
  • Earnings from freight is estimated at Rs 117,933 crore (US$ 17.2 billion), a growth of 5.4 per cent as a result of expected incremental traffic of 50 million tonnes due to anticipation of healthier growth in the core sector of economy.
  • Passenger earnings growth pegged at 12.4 per cent and budgeted at Rs 51,012 crore (US$ 7.4 billion).
  • Other coaching and sundries are projected at Rs 6,184 crore (US$ 903 million) and Rs 9,590 crore (US$ 1.4 billion) respectively.
  • Total expenditure is expected to be Rs 180,791 crore (US$ 26.4 billion)
  • Ordinary Working Expenses proposed to grow at 11.6 per cent and reach Rs 1,23,560 crore (US$ 18 billion)
  • Pension outgo budgeted at Rs 45,500 crore (US$ 6.6 billion).
  • Appropriation to depreciation reserve fund (DRF) from revenue placed at Rs 3,200 crore (US$ 467 million) and that from production units at Rs 200 crore (US$ 29.2 million). A withdrawal of Rs 3,160 crore (US$ 461 million) from DRF on net basis proposed though the gross expenditure to be met from DRF in the Annual Plan estimated at Rs 7,160 crore (US$ 1.04 billion). An appropriation of Rs 5,750 crore (US$ 839.9 million) is proposed to the Capital Fund.
  • Operating Ratio (Net Revenue/Capital) targeted at 92 per cent for 2016-17.

Financial Performance 2015-16

  • Gross Traffic Receipts stood at Rs 167,834 crore (US$ 24.5 billion) in Revised Estimates (RE), less by Rs 15,744 crore (US$ 2.29 billion) from the Budgeted Estimates (BE) of Rs 183,578 crore (US$ 26.8 billion).
  • Freight earnings stood at Rs 111,852 crore (US$ 16.3 billion) in RE compared to the BE of Rs 121,423 crore (US$ 17.7 billion), growing 5.7 per cent over 2014-15.
  • Freight loading stood at 1,107 million tonnes in 2015-16 compared to 1,095 million tonnes in 2014-15, indicating growth of 1.1 per cent.
  • Passenger earnings stood at Rs 45,376 crore (US$ 6.6 billion) in RE compared to the BE of Rs 50,175 crore (US$ 7.3 billion), growing 7.5 per cent over 2014-15.
  • Total number of passengers originating in 2015-16 was 8.1 billion compared to 8.22 billion in 2014-15.
  • Other Coaching earnings stood at Rs 4,325 crore (US$ 631 million) in RE compared to the BE of Rs 4,612 crore (US$ 673 million), growing 6.96 per cent over 2014-15.
  • Sundry earnings stood at Rs 5,580 crore (US$ 815 million) in RE compared to the BE of Rs 7,318 crore (US$ 1.06 billion), growing 9.56 per cent over 2014-15.
  • Operating Ratio stood at 90.5 per cent in RE compared to 88.5 per cent in BE.


  • Total expenses stood at Rs 151,907 crore (US$ 22.1 billion) in RE compared to the BE of Rs 163,480 crore (US$ 23.8 billion), growing 5.36 per cent over 2014-15.
  • Ordinary working expenses stood at 110,690 crore (US$ 16.1 billion) in RE compared to the BE of Rs 119,410 crore (US$ 17.4 billion), growing 4.43 per cent over 2014-15.
  • Appropriation to depreciation reserve fund stood at Rs 5,500 crore (US$ 803 million) in RE compared to the BE of Rs 7,900 crore (US$ 1.15 billion), declining 29.3 per cent over 2014-15.
  • Appropriation to pension fund stood at Rs 34,500 crore (US$ 5.03 billion) in RE compared to the BE of Rs 34,900 crore (US$ 5.09 billion), growing 18.05 per cent over 2014-15.

Achievements in 2015-16

  • Action initiated on 139 budget announcements of 2015-16.
  • 2,500 kms Broad Gauge lines and 1,600 kms of electrification were commissioned and funding through LIC was ensured.
  • Rs 24,000 crore (US$ 3.5 billion) contracts were awarded since November 2014 as against Rs 13,000 crore (US$ 1.89 billion) contracts awarded in last six years.
  • Online recruitment process was initiated in 2015-16 while social media was used as a tool to bring in transparency.
  • Cabinet approved 17 JVs with State Governments and six memorandum of understanding (MOUs) were signed with State Governments.
  • Significant efforts were made towards making travel comfortable by generating over 65,000 additional berths, installing 2,500 water vending machines; introducing ‘Mahamana Express’ with modern refurbished coaches; providing 17,000 biotoilets in trains and developing world’s first Bio Vacuum toilet.
  • Introduced 1,780 Automatic Ticket Vending Machines (ATVM), mobile apps and GoIndia smartcard for cashless purchase of tickets was introduced.


  • Average capital expenditure over 2009-14 was Rs 48,100 crore (US$ 7.02 billion) with an average growth of 8 per cent per annum.
  • In 2015-16 investment was close to double of the average of previous five years.
  • In 2016-17 capital expenditure is pegged at Rs 121,000 crore (US$ 17.6 billion) which will be implemented through joint ventures with states and developing new frameworks for Public-private partnership (PPP).

Long term plans

  • Rs 8.5 lakh crore (US$ 124 billion) to be spent over five years for modernisation of railway infrastructure
  • Aim to generate 10-20 per cent of revenues from non-tariff sources over next five years by monetisation of assets
  • Undertaking process improvements by awarding projects through engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) mode, implementing performance output parameters based contracts, leveraging technology for project management and initiating system-wide information technology integration through innovative partnership models.

Major Initiatives for 2016-17

  • Capacity addition
    • Proposed commissioning of 2,800 km of new tracks, nearly 30 per cent higher than last year
    • 7 km of broad gauge lines to be commissioned every day during 2016-17
    • 400 stations to be re-developed through PPP
    • Railway electrification to be increased by 50 per cent; Nearly 2,000 km route to be electrified next fiscal
    • 44 new projects valued at Rs 92,714 crore (US$ 13.5 billion) to be implemented this year
    • Enhanced capacity of e-ticketing system - from 2,000 tickets per minute to 7,200 per minute (to support 120,000 concurrent users)
    • Two locomotive factories at the cost of Rs 40,000 crore to be set up
    • Building terminal capacity - proposed to develop rail side logistics parks and warehousing in PPP mode, 10 goods sheds will be developed by TRANSLOC, the Transport Logistics
    • Company of India, in 2016-17. To soon inaugurate India’s first rail auto hub in Chennai.
  • Introducing new trains which include
    • Humsafar Express: A fully air conditioned train with an optional service for meals.
    • Tejas: It will showcase the future of train travel in India with operating speeds of 130 kilometer per hour (kmph).
    • Uday Express: Overnight double-decker train which will run on busiest of routes. It will have 40 per cent more passenger capacity.
    • Antyodaya Express: A superfast train for those travelling on long routes and will be fully unreserved.
  • Introducing new passenger services which include
    • Deen Dayalu coaches: These coaches will have large number of mobile charging points and water. These are meant for long distance travel.
    • Janani: A service to make available baby food, hot milk and hot water for lactating mothers.
    • Sarathi: Introduced in Konkan railway to help the old and disabled passengers requiring assistance at stations.
    • Sahayak: Coolies will be given training in soft skills and will be called 'Sahayaks'.
    • Clean my Coach: Passengers will be able to demand cleaning of a toilet via SMS. The audit will be done by third party and action to be taken based on passenger feedback.
  • Other initiatives
    • Models to determine revenue potential of at least 20 stations in next three months
    • Expanding the freight basket of Indian Railways by starting a time-tabled freight container, parcel and special commodity trains on a pilot basis.
    • Rationalising the tariff structure by undertaking a review of tariff policy to evolve a competitive rate structure vis-à-vis other mode.
    • Enhancing research and development through initiatives such as Sreshtha, Navarambh, Sutra, Avtaran and Navrachna.
    • Ensuring independence of Rail Development Authority to enable fair pricing of services, promote competition, protect customer interests and determine efficiency standards.
    • Aim to achieve entirely paperless contract system in 2016-17
    • WiFi in 100 stations this year and 400 other stations next year
    • Aim to reduce accidents by 20 per cent in 2016-17
    • To have CCTV surveillance at all stations, 300 major stations covered this year
    • Aim to introduce 20,000 screen rail display network for passing info to passengers and huge advertising potential

Click here for the full speech of the Railway Budget 2016-17.