July 8, 2014:
Summary: With less-than-desired Budgetary support from the Centre, Railway Minister DV Sadananda Gowda hopes to mop up money from other investors — both domestic and foreign — to implement his Rs. 65,000-crore plan. Gowda’s Budget for 2014-15 had a ‘white paper’ feel, explaining the NDA take on what the UPA regime did to the Railways’ finances by not increasing fares. Gowda, who is not under any coalition pressure, has routed investments into identified, prioritised projects that he believes will offer good returns.
Rail Budget 2014 as it was presented in Parliament on July 8, 2014 (Latest first):
13:07 pm:Chaos in Parliament as Rail Minister announces specifics of new trains, trains that have been extended. Lok Sabha adjourned till 2 pm.
Go to Railway Budget 2014 Highlights
To meet critical demands, Jan Sadharan group of trains and premium trains will be run
Special trains to meet holiday and festival rush
Five Jan Sadharan and five premium trains to be introduced; 5 AC trains to be introduced
27 express trains to be introduced
8 passenger, 5 DEMU & 2 MEMU services; 11 train extensions.
Bangalore to get suburban trains
13:04 pm:Mumbai to get more EMUs
Go to Full list of trains announced today
Office-on-Wheels: Internet & Workstation facilities on select trains.
Have allowed continuation of experimental stoppages for three months.
Then they will be reviewed on basis of commercial justification
Provide alternate train connectivity to meet genuine needs of passengers (instead of increasing number of stoppages)
13:00 pm:Online registration for demand of wagons will be launched in next two months.
Process for electronic railway receipt will also be initiated
Dedicated Frieght Corridor projects: implementation eastern and western DFCs will be closely monitored.
Holistic approach to urban transport is required. Passenger-centric focus will be given for urban transport.
In twin states of AP and Telangana, committee already set up of railways and state govt.
12:56 pm:Strategic procurement policies will be adopted for transparency.
Status of on-going projects to be made available online.
23 projects under way in North East. I propose to allocate higher funds for these projects in 2014-15. Rs 5,116 crore for projects in NE, which is a 54% rise.
Project formulation and management group to be set up to expedite projects. State Government and rail officials to be part of the group
Propose to harness solar energy by using rooftops: railway land and railways stations
12:55 pm:CRWC will be roped in. Help farmers get better prices for their produce. Special milk trains will be provided in partnership with Amul.
Propose to give boost to railway movement of fruits and vegetables, and temperature controlled storages at 10 location
12:53 pm:New design of parcel vans is being finalised
More than 30 per cent of freight trains run empty. Automatic rebate will be given for those opting for return too
Mechanisation of loading and unloading will be given top priority
Indian railways will take up 10 stations of metro cities to set up state of art facilities
Rs 40,000 crore investments for port connectivity
12:50 pm:With large backlog of sanctioned projects, we will interact with industry and take further steps to attract investments through BOT and annuity route
8-10 capacity augmentation projects will be identified on congested routes
Port connectivity has been taken on priority
Railways feel connectivity to new and upcoming ports through private participation is important
12:48 pm:Using land assets for setting up railway related business will be explored with PPP participation.
I propose to set up 10 innovation and incubation centres for Railways.
Summer internships at various units of Rlys for undergraduate and post graduate students.
Land records of Railways need to be digitised.
Large-scale computersiation and intergration of railway services, we are hoping for computer assisted resource planning and moving towards paperless office in five years so that synergy is brought in.
Wi-fi services in select stations and trains planned.
Automatic closing of doors in trains to be tried out.
12:44 pm:We want to have diamond quadrilateral for high-speed trains. I propose Rs 104 crore for high speed projects. High speed for existing will be achieved by upgrading present network. The lines for high speed include Delhi-Agra, Delhi-Chandigarh, Goa-Mumbai, Nagpur-Secunderabad
Propose bulltet trains for Mumbai-Ahmedabad sector.
Plan to set up Railway University for technical employees.
Parking-cum-platform combo tickets will be facilitated. Booking of platform tickets through Internet to be introduced.
In the system, 7,200 tickets per minute will be supported
Railway reservation system will be revamped into next generation ticket booking system
I propose specially packaged trained for religious/tourist circuits
12:40 pm:Plan to take up eco-tourism and education tourism in North East states
17,000 RPF contables to be recruited for safety of trains at stations. 4,000 women RPF constables will be there for women safety. They will be provided mobile phones with a helpline that one can contact.
Rs 1,785 crore for building road under bridges and over bridges.
It is estimated that over 40,000 crore will need to invested in track safety.
On-board housekeeping services will be extended to all important trains.
Introduce RO drinking water units in stations and trains
Mechanised laundry to improve bedrooms provided in trains
Hospital Management Information System to integrate all railway health units and hospital
Govt to make e—procurement compulsory for procurements over Rs 25 lakh
12:36 pm:Railways challenge to provide cleanliness. Bio tiolets to be increased in trains. There will be 40% increase in budget for cleanliness. Cleanliness in 50 stations to be outsourced to professional agencies FOCUS AREA OF BUDGET Passenger amenities: Wake up calls and SMS-based updates to be introduced.
Sufficient water supply, toilets at all stations. Battery operated cars in stations to help elderly, needy
NGOs, Trusts to be involved to provide passenger amenities
Online booking facility to be extedned to all railway retiring rooms at all stations
To improve hygiene and variety of meals
Propose to introduce pre-cooked ready to eat meals of reputed brands in a phased manner. For food, there will be quality assurance mechanism with third-party audits.
Introducing Food courts at major stations, with option of regional cuisine on board through email, sms.
For food court, Pilot project between New Delhi-Amritsar and New Delhi-Jammu Tawi section.
12:32 pm:Will focus on setting things in order than sanctioning new projects. Populist projects and mismanagement have brought Railways to point of funds crunch.
12:31 pm:Social obligation of Railways in 2013—14 was Rs 20,000 crore.
12:30 pm:I propose to scale down market borrowing to Rs 11,790 crore
12:30 pm:Freight earnings this year is estimated at Rs 1,05,770 crore. Passenger earnings estaimated at Rs 44,645 crore Increased passenger fares would generate Rs 610 crore. Fares will be linked to fuel charges to insulate Railways from fuel price hike
Budget Estimates 2014-15: Rs 1,64,374 crore total receipts
12:28 pm:Planned Expenditure fell short of Rs 59,359 crore target because of non materialisation of PPP projects.
12:27 pm:Surplus of last year only Rs 3,783 crore instead of target of Rs 4,160 crore.
12:26 pm:2013-14 Financials: Railway carried 150.18 million tonnes of freight; 46 million fewer passengers.
12:25 pm:Priority and setting time-lines for on-going projects needed. Strategic partnership and transparency in procurement is needed. Adopting safety standards based on international practices.
12:24 pm:We have to raise substantial resources through PPP route
12:23 pm:Railways seeking Cabinet nod for FDI (except rail operations)
12:23 pm:The medicine appears bitter in beginning but like nectar later. We can't depend only on hiking fare, we also have to explore alternative sources.
12:22 pm:Fare revision was a tough but necessary decision, Rs 8,000 crore of additional revenue will come. We need Rs 60,000 crore for introducing one bullet train alone.
12:21 pm:In the last 10 years Govt spent Rs 41,000 crore for laying 3,700 km of new lines but spent just Rs 18,400 crore for doubling of 5,200 km which should have been given priority. The story of Indian Railways so far... It is a monopoly, with 100 per cent advance payment, but still starved of funds. I can also get claps by announcing new projects..but I have to set thngs in order. Railways needs course correction.
12:19 pm:There was Rs 41,000 crore investment in laying 3,700 kms of new lines in last 10 years.
12:18 pm:There have been misdirected investments. Focus on sanctioning projects rather than on completing them. 676 projects worth Rs 1,57,888 crore \were sanctioned in last 30 years. 99 new line projects have been sanctioned over last 10 years, only 1 project has been completed. Four projects that are as old as 30 years are yet to be completed
12:17 pm:There is a huge gap between surplus and funds required. There was loss on passenger fare--23 paisa per passenger per km (2013-14). Railways spends 94 paise and retains only 6 paise as surplus.
12:16 pm:Rs1,39,558 crore is gross revenue, while expenditure Rs 1,30,331 crore. Surplus of railways: Rs 602 crore in current financial year. The operating ratio 94 per cent in 2013-14.
12:15 pm:Tariff policy so far lacked rational approach.
12:14 pm:It is the backbone of supply chain for defence establishments. A vast track of hinterland waiting for rail connectivity. It carries only 31 per cent of the freight of the country. We are expected to earn like commercial enterprise, but serve like welfare organisation.
12:12 pm:India runs 12,500 trains..carries 23 milllion passengers every day. More that 4,300 freight trains carrying 3 million tonne every day.
12:10 pm:DV Sadananda Gowda says he is flooded with requests for new trains, new railway lines, better services. Presenting the budget he says everybody feels there is a solution for challenges that Indian Railways faces. I am overwhelmed with enormity of responsibility for fulfilment.
12:03 pm:Sadanand Gowda thanks Narendra Modi for the faith reposed in him.
12:00 pm:Railway Minister begins budget speech in Parliament.
11:45 am:Railway Minister DV Sadananda Gowda is set to present his maiden Railway Budget at 12 noon today. Gowda, who has already implemented a round of fare and freight rate hike, is expected to chart a path for modernisation of the railways, with specific focus on improving the user experience. Gowda is also expected to focus on getting investments from private sector -- in station modernisation, building rail links, investment in special wagons that are lighter -- among others. A bigger role for private sector in station modernisation has already been hinted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Gowda, a former Chief Minister of Karnataka, who had a copy of Modinomics on his table, is the first Railway Minister from BJP to be free from political compulsions of coalition parties, after a gap of almost 20 years.
11:09 am: D.V. Sadananda Gowda arrives in Parliament along with his junior minister Manoj Sinha.
11:04 am: Railway Budget will be presented after the Question Hour.
11:03 am: Question Hour begins in Lok Sabha.
11:02 am: Congress Floor Leader Mallikarjuna Kharge seeks debate on price rise. Speaker rejects it. Assures him that price rise will be disscussed in the afternoon.
11:00 am: Lok Sabha session begins. Speaker Sumitra Mahajan is in the Chair.
(This article was published on July 8, 2014)