“A Path Breaking Budget for Indian Railways”, Piyush Goyal

Minister of Railways, Commerce & Industry, Consumer Affairs and Food & Public Distribution Shri Piyush Goyal addressed the virtual conference yesterday i.e. 04.02.2021.

Speaking on the budgetary provisions for Indian Railways, Shri Piyush Goyal said, “The General Budget 2021 has been historic for Indian Railways. It has focussed  on infrastructure projects in Indian Railways. The highest capex for Indian Railways will act as a huge catalyst to revitalise the economy & lead Indian Railways towards Aatmanirbhar Bharat.

Speaking  on the occasion, the Minister said that Indian Railways is marching ahead on its bigger plan like achieving 100% electrification by 2023, Net Zero Carbon Emission network by 2030, modernisation of railways, ease of ticket booking, online freight services. Thus, Indian Railways is on the verge of becoming a “Future Ready” network.

Replying to a question, Shri Piyush Goyal informed that normal train services will be decided upon in consultation with other stake holders as COVID situation is being monitored. Vaccination drive has gathered momentum but still we need to adhere to precautions and preventions.

While talking about Dedicated Freight Corridors, Shri Piyush Goyal said monetization of assets can be taken up in stages by public listing & gradual disinvestment after DFC become fully operational, and DFCCIL starts registering healthy profit.

Speaking on the Management Mantra for Indian Railways, Shri Goyal said that the Management Mantra of Indian Railways is to Assign Priority, Allocate Resources & Expedite Completion”. He further said that the focus is now on completion of projects rather than on announcing new projects. Of the current 513 ongoing projects being implemented, Railways has identified supercritical, critical projects on capacity enhancement projects on HDN/HUN routes, multi tracking projects, connectivity projects & national projects. Fund allocation and targets have been planned for next 4 years. All supercritical projects will be completed by March 2022 & others will be completed by March 2024.

It may be noted that Indian Railways has now highest ever total Plan capex of Rs. 2,15,058 Crores this year with Rs. 7,500 Crores from internal resources, Rs. 1,00,258 Crores from extra budgetary resources and Rs. 1,07,100 Crores for capital expenditure allocation given in the General Budget.

Indian Railways received a record outlay of Rs 1,10,055crore, of which Rs  1,07,100 crore is for capital expenditure in the Union Budget 2021-22 presented  in the Parliament.

The Gross Budgetary allocation is Rs. 37,050 cr (53%) higher than BE 2020-21. Inspite of the covid, this is remarkable vindication of the progress being made being undertaken Infrastructure projects in Indian Railways.

With this increase in Capex, Indian Railways will be the driver of Indian economy. The thrust of Annual Plan 2021-22 is on infrastructure development, throughput enhancement, development of terminal facilities, augmentation of speed of trains, signaling systems, improvement of passengers/users’ amenities, safety works of road over/under bridges etc.