Highlights from Railway Budget 2015-16
Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on 26 February 2015 presented the Railway Budget 2015-16 in the Parliament. Below are the highlights of this Budget:
- No new hike in passenger fares
- While, the Freight fares have been raised incase of urea by 10%, iron and steel by 0.8%, kerosene and cooking gas by 0.8%, coal by 6.3% and cement by 2.7%.
- Plan Budget is gone up by 52 percent Rs. 100011 crore for financial year 2015-16 compared to Rs. 65789 crore in FY 2014-15.
- For next five year envisaged investment for railways is Rs. 8.5 lakh crore rupees.
- Funds for railways will be raised from pension, institutional and multilateral agencies.
- In order to improve passenger amenities, MPs requested to use part of their MPLAD funds.
- Railways to set up an infrastructure fund and holding company to raise long-term debt.
- 120 days in advance ticket booking facility for passengers instead of earlier 60 days.
- Railways is aiming to move towards paperless ticketing.
- Operation 5 minutes– Passengers can buy railway tickets within five minutes unde.
- SMS updates to inform passengers about any change in schedule of trains.
- Open wi-fi facility at 400 railway stations.
- Mobile charging units will be installed.
- For women safety CCTVs to be installed in selected trains and suburban trains.
- Food ordering facility food while booking tickets through IRCTC website.
- Water-vending machines to be set up at stations.
- 138 will be a nationwide 24×7 helpline number for railway-related queries. While, 182 will be a toll-free number for security-related issues.
- On-board entertainment in Shatabdi Express.
- Track capacity will be increased by 10% to 1.38 lakh km.
- Speed of passenger trains on 9 corridors will increased to 160-200 km/h from 110-130 km/h.
- Wagon-making scheme will be reviewed in order ease private investment
- By inviting open bids, station redevelopment policy will be revamped.
- 10 satellite railway terminals will be developed in major cities in 2015-15.
- PPP cell of Indian Railways will be revamped.
- Feasibility report of high-speed train between Mumbai and Ahmedabad expected by mid-2015.
- Connectivity to North-East India will be improved. In J&K rail connectivity will be on focus.
- Railways will promote Gandhi circuit in order to mark centenary year of Mahatma Gandhi’s return from South Africa.
- Special travel scheme Kisan Yatra for farmers for farming and marketing technique centres.
- Under Incredible India, Incredible Rail will be launched.
Analysis: A Modest Railway Budget