Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will unveil the Budget 2019-20 on July 5. In September 2016, the government scrapped the 92-year-old practice of presenting rail budgets and general budgets separately. And in 2017, Arun Jaitley became the first finance minister to present a combined Union Budget with Rail Budget as part of it. This year’s Budget – the first full budget by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government after returning to power in May- will also include announcements for the Railways. (Also read: 10 Things To Know About First Budget Of Independent India)
Here are some key announcements made for Railways in Interim Budget 2019, Budget 2018 and Budget 2017:
Interim Budget 2019
1. Railways saw an allocation of Rs. 64,587 crore and capital expenditure of Rs. 1.58 lakh in Interim Budget 2019.
2. The capital support from the Budget for the railways was proposed at Rs. 64,587 crore in 2019-20.
3. In the budget, funds worth Rs. 7,255 crore were allocated for construction of new lines, Rs.2,200 crore for gauge conversion, Rs. 700 crore for track doubling, Rs. 6,114.82 crore for rolling stock and Rs. 1,750 crore for signalling and telecom.
1. Former Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced a capital expenditure of Rs. 1.48 lakh crore for the Indian Railways in his Budget 2018 speech.
2. He also proposed a target of doubling 18,000 km of lines.
3. 36,000 km of rail track renewal were targeted while 4,267 unmanned railway crossings on broad gauge routes were targeted to be eliminated in the next two years.
4. 600 stations were earmarked for modernisation by the Indian Railways.
1. For financial year 2017-18, the total capital and development expenditure of Railways were pegged at Rs. 1,31,000 crore.
2. For passenger safety, a Rashtriya Rail Sanraksha Kosh creation was announced with a corpus of Rs. 1 lakh crore over a period of five years.
3. It was proposed that 500 stations will be made differently-abled-friendly by providing lifts and escalators.
4. It was also proposed to feed about 7,000 stations with solar power in the medium term.
5. ‘Coach Mitra’, a single-window interface to register all coach-related complaints and requirements was also announced.