The railways budget of 2014 has created much buzz in the recent times. The new railways budget has just appeared the charts. The brief points of the railway budget for 2014 are as follows-
The passenger fares will be remained unchanged
Announcement of 17 new premium trains and 38 passengers trains are being made in order to raise Rs. 12, 800 Crore from the market in FY15.
Shipment rates will also remain the same as the previous year.
Gross Traffic receipts for FY15 are estimated to be at Rs 1.61 lakh Crore
In the upcoming year, the railway minister foresees Rs 6,005 Crore coming through Private-public partnership projects
Budgetary support for FY15 is estimated at Rs 30,200 Crore in an outlay of Rs 64,305 Crore
The parliament is yet to come with the final railway budget, as the formal document is yet to come that has the exact details of the interim budget. By far, it has been confirmed that new line to Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya freight corridors are yet to be made. The eastern and western corridors can also be expected soon. Meghalaya would also be brought to the map of Indian Railways.
The debate regarding the railway budget being disrupted due to Telangana issue is still on. The anti-Telangana MPs in the Lok Sabha are quite in distress due to the addition of another state in the map of the nation.
However, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi also discussed the problems and the demands of the porters ahead of the rail budget with the Railway Minister Mallikarjun Kharge. The porters demanded for a complimentary pass for the entire family twice in a year instead of once.
Railway Minister Mallikarjun Kharge is not in any mood to tinker the basic passenger fares but the announcement for new trains and new services are about to include in the railways budget of 2014. Government might announce some adjustments in the fuel subsidy, which eventually helps in leading to marginal reduction of the fees.
Amidst all, Passenger safety is the top priority in this year railway budget. Among the measures that are likely to be announced are installation of fire safety systems, more use of fire-retardant material in the coaches and further implementation of Train Collision Avoidance System. More trains, new lines and absolutely passenger friendly amenities are expected in this railway budget. Kharge is expected to announce measures for better facilities and safety measures for passengers while at the same time undertaking steps to improve the fiscal position.
The interim rail budget will also focus on electrification of more routes so that dependence on diesel is less. Railways are likely to take up about 1500 km route for electrification in the next fiscal. Currently, only about 24,000 km is electrified out of the total 65,000 km route.
The failing revenue of the railway is indeed a matter of concern. While the working expenses have gone up by about Rs 5,000 Crore during April-December period, the revenue earnings have decreased by over Rs 4,000 Crore. The new budget should add to the revenue, hopes are still high.