Union Finance and Railway Minister, Piyush Goyal announced the highest-ever capital expenditure allocation for the Indian Railways at Rs 1.58 lakh crore.
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Piyush Goyal in his Budget speech said, “Budgetary allocation for railways has been increased to Rs 64,587 crore.”
The 92-year-old practice of a separate Railway budget was discontinued last year, leading to its merger with the Union Budget. Upgrading of old railway infrastructure, faster self-propelled trains, better passengers amenities and safety of passengers have come across as the top priority for the Railways this year.
Here are the major highlights of the 2019 Railway Budget:
1. The government proposed capital support of Rs 64,587 crore in 2019-20 for Indian Railways. This is a major jump of 22 per cent from Rs 53,060 crore in FY19.
2. In over five decades, Railways maintained the best safety record in 2017-18 fiscal. Compared to 104 accidents in the previous fiscal, 73 accidents were reported across the railway network as of 30th March 2018. This is the lowest in 57 years.
3. All unmanned level crossings on broad gauge network have been completely eliminated.
4. Vande Bharat Express will give train passengers world-class facility with safety, speed and great service. This development will be a push to ‘Make in India’ programme and will create jobs.
5. In 2017-18, Railways carried out renewal of 4,405 km of old rails. This is the highest ever progress of rail renewal and exceeded the target of 4,400 km kept for the year.
6. From 96.2 per cent in 2018-19, the operating ratio of railways will come down to 95 per cent in 2019-20.
7. No Railway fare hike was announced in the Railway Budget for 2019.