[Railway Budget] Railway Budget 2016-17 Highlights

What are the components of the budget?

Article 112 of the Constitution of India stipulates that Government should lay before the Parliament an Annual Financial Statement popularly referred to as ‘Budget’.

The Railway Budget presented to Parliament, besides the Railway Minister’s Budget speech consists of the following documents –

1. Budget of the Railway Revenue and Expenditure

2. Demands for Grants and detailed Demands for Grants

3. Explanatory Memorandum

4. Works, Machinery and Rolling Stock Programme.

5. Performance and Outcome Budget.

6. Appropriation Bill

7. Memorandum explaining the increase in fare and freight rates

How is the budget prepared in India?

Budget preparation in Railways is a calculative process between the Zonal Railways, Ministry of Railways and Ministry of Finance.

It is a combination of –

(a) Top down approach with the Ministry of Railways issuing guidelines or communicating instructions to spending Units of Railways

(b) A bottom-up approach, wherein the spending Zonal Railways and other Railway Units present requests for budget allocation

Railway Budget 2016-17 Highlights :

  • No change in passenger fares, says Suresh Prabhu
  • Auto companies to benefit as India's first rail auto hub will come up in Chennai that will reduce logistics cost 
  • E-booking of tickets on concessional passes for journalists introduced 
  • Ajmer, Amritsar, Gaya, Mathura, Nanded, Nashik, Puri, Tirupati, Varanasi, Nagapattinam and other pilgrim stations to be beautified 
  • Draft Bill for railway development authority to be drafted soon. Railway board to be reorganised on business lines and chairman to be re-empowered 
  • Four fold increase in advertising revenue envisaged in the next fiscal 
  • Railways to increase lower berth quota for senior citizens by 50 per cent: Suresh Prabhu 
  • 33 per cent reservation to women in reserved quota in Railways will be introduced 
  • IRCTC website to consider e-commerce initiatives because of high number of hits 
  • Cold storage to be set up in vacant lands near warehousing facilities 
  • Suresh Prabhu appeals to staggering of office timings to reduce pressure on suburban trains 
  • Elevated suburban train corridors in Mumbai 
  • Ring railway to be revived in New Delhi 
  • High speed passenger corridor from Ahmedabad to Mumbai 
  • New uniforms and training for porters. Coolies to rechristened as 'Sahayaks' 
  • Overnight double-decker train Uday Express to be introduced on busiest routes, carrying capacity to be 40 per cent more, says Suresh Prabhu. 
  • 400 railway stations to be equipped with wifi, 100 this year, says Suresh Prabhu 
  • Baby milk and hot water to be provided in trains 
  • Insurance companies being asked to provide optional travel insurance to passengers prior to travel 
  • Battery operated services for the old and special people 
  • Railway stalls to over-the-counter medicine 
  • Local cuisine of choice to be made available to the passengers 
  • To introduce methods which will help passengers SMS to get the toilets and coaches cleaned 
  • Refund process to made simpler, bar coded tickets to be introduced 
  • Sale of tickets to be initiated by hand held devices and platform tickets through vending machines, says Suresh Prabhu 
  • Rs 3000 crore saved in energy a year ahead of schedule, says Suresh Prabhu 
  • MoUs with 6 states for Joint Ventures 
  • World's first bio-flushing toilets was developed by us in Dibrugarh Rajdhani, says Suresh Prabhu 
  • We intend to commence wi-fi system at 100 stations this year in partnership with Google: Suresh Prabhu 
  • Outlay for railway electrification increased by 50 per cent; 2,000-km route to be electrified next fiscal 
  • MoUs with 6 states for Joint Ventures 
  • Rs 3000 crore saved in energy a year ahead of schedule, says Suresh Prabhu 
  • 2 new loco factories to be set up at cost of Rs 40,000 cr under Make in India initiative, says Suresh Prabhu 
  • World's first bioflushing toilets was developed by us in Dibrugarh Rajdhani, says Suresh Prabhu 
  • We intend to commence wi-fi system at 100 stations this year in partnership with Google: Suresh Prabhu 
  • On Make in India, we were able to finalise two locomotive of Rs 40,000 cr, says Suresh Prabhu 
  • No unmanned level crossing by 2020, says Suresh Prabhu 
  • Indian Railways to shift to paperless contact management system as e-initiative, says Suresh Prabhu 
  • Common people have always been our focus, says Suresh Prabhu. No barrier between common people and Railways 
  • 2 new loco factories to be set up at of Rs 40,000 cr under Make in India initiative, says Suresh Prabhu 
  • Important to built more dedicated freight corridors, says Suresh Prabhu. To commission three corridors Delhi to Chennai, connect Kharagpur to Mumbai and Kharagpur to Vijaywada 
  • Major initiative in North East announced, says Suresh Prabhu 
  • Employee addition of 9 crore mandays in 2017, says Suresh Prabhu 
  • Target revenue is Rs 184, 820, 10 per cent up from the revised target, says Suresh Prabhu 
  • Action has been initiated 139 budget announcement since last year, says Suresh Prabhu 
  • Next year 2,800 km of track at 7 kms per day against 3 km per day to be commissioned, says Suresh Prabhu 
  • A saving of 8,720 crore rupees for budget estimates of last year will be effected this year: Suresh Prabhu 
  • Co-operation, collaboration and communication, are the hallmarks of Indian Railways's journey forward: Suresh Prabhu 
  • Railway ki Gati, Rashtra ki pragati, Suresh Prabhu says in Hindi 
  • Budget a collective participation with industry association, says Suresh Prabhu 
  • Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu says people contributing in cleanliness in railways 

Summery :

No hike in passenger fares.
Action has been initiated on 139 budget announcements made last year.
Eliminate all unmanned level crossings by 2020.
Swacch Bharat: 17000 biotoilets and additional toilets in 475 stations before the close of this financial year.
Increased quota for senior citizens and women travellers this year.
Wifi at 100 stations this year and 400 stations next year.
Enhanced capacity of e-ticketing system from 2,000 tickets/min to 7,200/min. Supporting 1.2 lakh concurrent users now, as opposed to 40,000 earlier.
All major stations to be brought under CCTV surveillance in a phased manner.
Deen Dayal coaches for long distance trains for unreserved passengers. These coaches will include potable water and higher number of mobile charging points.
IRCTC to manage catering service in phased manner. Local cuisine of choice will be made available to passengers.
Cleaning of toilets by requests through SMS.
Children's menu, baby foods, baby boards to be made available for travelling mothers.
GPS-based digital display in coaches for showing upcoming stations.
Will open cancellation facility through 139 helpline number.
Introduce bar-coded tickets on pilot basis to tackle menace of ticketless travel.

On new Projects to be implemented this year :
Overnight double-decker trains to be introduced on business travel routes.
1,600 km of electrification this year and 2,000 km proposed for the next year.
Broad Gauge Lumding-Silchar section in Assam, connecting Barak Valley with rest of country.
North-East India, especially Mizoram and Manipur, to be connected through broad gauge soon.
Special purpose vehicle for the Ahmedabad-Mumbai high speed corridor registered this month.

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