Prabhu begins presenting India’s rail budget for 2016-17 | Current Affairs, Current Affairs 2017

Prabhu begins presenting India’s rail budget for 2016-17

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Prabhu begins presenting India's rail budget for 2016-17Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu began presenting Railway budget 2016-17 for the next fiscal year in the Lok Sabha, promising to address the issues concerning all stakeholders — citizens, employees and industry, among others.

“These are challenging times,” Prabhu said in the opening remarks of his second rail budget speech, adding that the strategy will involve three pillars — exploring new avenues to raise revenues, improve efficiency and totally recast decision-making.

“Cooperation, collaboration and communication, are the hallmarks of Indian Railways’ journey forward,” the minister said. “We will be at the forefront of infrastructure investment in the country.”

Highlights:

  •  Making all-out efforts to translate dream of Prime Minister Narendra Modi into reality
  •  Aiming to achieve operation ratio of 92 percent
  •  Saving of Rs.8,720 crore from last year’s estimates
  •  Envisaging capital expenditure of Rs.1.21 lakh crore
  • Seven km of broad gauge lines to be commisssioned every day during 2016-17
  •  Hope to commission 19 km of new broad gauge track every day by 2018-19
  •  Rs.8.8 lakh crore to be spent on infrastructure in five years
  •  Rs.40,000 crore expected from the government as nudgetary support
  •  Budget that reflects the expectations of the entire nation
  •  Making all-out efforts to translaste dream of Prime minister Narendra Modi into reality
  •  Aiming tom achieve operation ratio of 92 percent
  •  Saving of Rs.8,720 crore from last year’s estimates
  •  Envisaging capistal expenditure of Rs.1.21 lakh crore
  • New governance structure required; more decentralisation and deregulation; accounting system to be revamped

  •  Resources to be generated through public-private-partnerships

  •  Suburban network in Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai to be augmented

  •  Assets to be monetised rather than sold; land records being digitised

  • Products made by self-help groups to be encouraged

  •  Railways cannot function in business-as-usual mode, have to keep up with changing times

  •  Announcement on new trains/frequencies to be made during current parliament session

  •  Speed of trains running at 110-130 kmph to be increased to 160-20 kmph

  •  Green technology locomotives to be introduced

  •  10 cities identified for creating fully-functional satellite terminals to reduce congestion

  •  Two dedicated freight corridors gathering steam

  •  Innovation Council and Technology Portal to be set up to invite suggestions on improvements

  •  All newly-manufactured coaches to be braille-enabled

  •  Online booking for wheel chairs to be enabled

  •  MPs urged to use part of their funds for improving rail facilities

  •  Over 17,00 toilets on trains already replaced, another 17,000 to be replaced

  •  Wi-Fi facility to be extended to category B stations

  •  Open bids to be invited from private parties to develop railway stations

  •  Operational ratio of 88.5 percent targetted

  •  Defence travel system developed to eliminate system warrants

  •  SMS alerts to be introduced

  •  Paperless ticketing system to be developed

  •  New department to keep stations clean

  •  Waste to energy conversion plants to be created

  •  Toilets at stations need improvement; 650 additional toilets to be created in addition to 120 last year

  •  Investment of Rs.8.5 lakh crore in next five years

  • Over 20,000 suggestions received on improving facilities

  •  Four goals: Deliver sustained improvement in customer facilities, Make railways safer means of travel, expand substantially, make Indian Railways self-sustainable

  •  Budget part of trilogy: White paper already tabled, this budget, vision document soon

  • Railways backbone of national connectivity

  •  Will partner with private sector to improve last mile connectivity

  •  Railways unique integrator of modern India

  •  Facilities not improved substantially over past few decades

  •  Vicious cycle of under-investment must end

  •  1,219 sections on network – most of them overworked

  • In next five years, intention to substantially augment capacity

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