Highlights of the Railway Budget 2014-15

Focuses on Investments, Cleanliness and Safety

Railway Budget 2014-15 emphasizes on boosting investments, capacity utilization, cleanliness, safety and provision of better amenities for the passengers. It is a progressive budget which promises to launch network of high speed trains in the country. The Budget has given priority to raise surplus funds for the Railways through improving infrastructure by public private partnerships (PPPs), mobilizing foreign direct investment flows, allocating substantial outlay for safety and bringing transparency in execution of projects. Some remarkable initiatives have been introduced keeping different sections of society into consideration.

Achievements / Initiatives

· XIth Five Year Plan Targets exceeded in New Lines (2,207 km) , Doubling (2,758 km) and Electrification (4,556 km), Production of Diesel (1,288) & Electrical (1,218) Locos and Acquisition of Wagons (64,875)

· Dedicated Freight Corridors on the Eastern and Western Routes – leading to strategically critical capacity augmentation.

· Railways met from its own means the total additional impact of Rs one lakh crore due to implementation of 6th Pay Commission

· In 2013-14, 1532 km of New Lines, Doubling and Gauge Conversion commissioned.

· Production commenced at the new factories – Rail Wheel Plant, Chhapra ; Rail Coach Factory, Rae Bareli ; and Diesel Component Factory, Dankuni.

Measures for improving Safety & Security

· No unmanned Level Crossing. A total of 5,400 unmanned level crossings eleiminated – 2,310 by manning it and 3,090 by closure / merger / construction of ROBs or RUBs.

· Improved audio – visual warning to road users in advance of approaching trains.

· Induction of indigenously developed Train Collision Avoidance System

· Development of ‘crashworthy’ coaches

Financial Health
Rail infrastructure by cost sharing arrangement with State Governments; Karnataka, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Haryana agreed to several projects
Several Public Private Partnerships (PPP) projects are in the pipeline.
FDI being enabled to foster creation of world-class rail infrastructure.
Rail Land Development Authority raised Rs 937 crore so far.

Modernisation and Technology Induction

High Speed Trains

I. Joint feasibility study by India and Japan for Mumbai – Ahmedabad Corridor to be co-financed by Japan International Cooperation Agency

II. Business Development Study by SNCF for Mumbai – Ahmedabad corridor.
Semi- High Speed Projects

I. Exploring low cost option of speeds 160- 200 kmph on select routes

Green Initiatives

· Railway Energy Management Company becomes functional. Windmill and solar power plants to be set up with 40% subsidy from Ministry of New & Renewable Energy.

· 200 Stations, rooftops of 26 buildings and 2,000 level crossing gates to be covered.

· Railways bagged 22 out of 112 awards given by the Government.

· ‘Green Curtains’ along the track close to major stations; Pilot work at Agra and Jaipur

· Coverage of Bio-toilets in 2,500 coaches and would be increased progressively.

Passenger Friendly Initiatives
Overwhelming public response to e-booking of ticket
On-line tracking of exact location and running of train movements
51 Jan-Ahaar outlets for Janta Meals ; 48 passenger escalators commisionsed at stations and 61 more being installed ; air-conditioned EMU services in Mumbai from July 2014 ; information display system in important trains to indicate stations & arrival time.
‘Upgradation’ scheme extended to AC Chair Car and Executive Chair car passengers.

Revenue Freight Traffic
Loading target of 1047 Million Tonnes for 2013-14 would be surpassed
Empty Flow Discount Scheme to be implemented
Carrying Capacity + 9 tonne + 1 tonne routes being planned
Easing of some restrictions on movement of imported commodities through Containers
Carrying capacity of 20 feet containers increased by 4 tonnes
Parcel Terminals & Special Parcel Trains with scheduled timings.
New policy on parcels to encourage transportation of milk.
New concept of ‘hub and spoke’ for parcel business
Third party warehousing in Special Parcel Terminals envisaged.

Budget Estimates 2014-15
Loading target of 1,101 Million Tonnes
Gross Traffic Receipts targeted at Rs 1,60,775 crore with Passenger Earnings (Rs 45,255 crore), Goods (Rs 1,05,770 crore), Other Coaching & Sundry Earnings (Rs 9,700 crore)
Ordinary Working Expenses placed at Rs 1,10,649 crore, higher by Rs 13,589 crore
Pension Outgo budgeted at Rs 27,000 crore against Rs 24,000 crore for 2013-14
The entire Dividend of Rs 9,117 crore to General Exchquer will be paid
Fund Balances likely to be Rs 12,728 crore.
Operating Ratio budgeted at 89.8%

Annual Plan 2014-15Annual Plan envisaged at Rs 64,305 crore with a Budgetary Support of Rs 30,223 crore , Internal Resources of Rs 10,418 crore and Extra Budgetary Resources of Rs 19,805 crore
New Surveys: 19 New Lines & 5 Doubling

New Services

New Trains
17 Premium trains
38 Express trains
10 Passenger trains

Extension and Increase in frequency
3 Extension of trains
3 increase in frequency

– Dr. S P Sharma
Chief Economist