Railway Budget 2015-2016

New proposals in the Railway Budget:

Kayakalp:

  • It is an innovation council proposed to be setup. It will be set up for the purpose of business re-engineering and introducing a spirit of innovation in Railways.

Malaviya Chair’

  • for Railway Technology at IIT (BHU), Varanasi. This Chair will help in development of new materials to be used in all assets of Railways.

Financing Cell in the Railway Board:

  • It will seek advices from experts in the railways field and helps in mobilising the resources to meet the budgetary requirements.

Foreign Rail Technology Cooperation Scheme:

The Scheme aims to achieve the higher quality service for the nation. This is being launched because Technology intensive and complex projects like speed raising and station redevelopment require lot of handholding by a specialized agency in terms of preparatory work, exploring technology options and managing bid processes.

Operation Five Minutes:

It ensures Speedy Purchase of Tickets for Unreserved Class Passengers.

Gandhi Circuit:

It has been decided to promote tourism in the country through Gandhi Circuit. Indian Railways will join this effort through Incredible Rail for Incredible India. The Gandhi circuit will be set up by the Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) to mark the 100 years of the return of Mahatma Gandhi from South Africa to India.

Kisan Yatra:

It is a special travel scheme for farmers to visit farming and marketing information centres.

Quick facts from the Railway Budget:

  • The size of the Plan Budget has gone up by 52% from Rs. 65,798 crore in 2014- 15 to Rs. 1,00,011 crore in 2015-16.
  • Support from the Central Government constitutes 41.6% of the total Plan Budget and Internal generation 17.8 %.
  • Nirbhaya Fund to be used for augmenting security of women passengers.
  • For raising long-term debt, the Railways could tap pension and insurance funds and set up a holding company or a joint venture with existing non-banking financial companies of public sector enterprises such as the Indian Railway Finance Corporation.
  • Debt could be raised from both domestic and foreign sources, including multilateral and bilateral financial institutions like the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank.
  • Earnings from passengers have risen in the past year on the back of a 14 per cent increase in fares announced in June 2014.

Sources: PIB.

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