Railway Budget 2023: What is the preparation of the department regarding the railway budget, how much increase is expected, which redevelopment projects will be included in the railway proposals, know in this special report –
This time people have high expectations from the Rail Budget. Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present her fifth budget on 1 February. In its first term, the ruling Modi government at the center had also linked the railway budget with the general budget. Now the money for railways is also given from this budget. According to the information, the center is going to increase the railway budget this time. It is expected that the government will increase the budget of the Railways by up to 20 percent. Earlier, in the pre-budget meeting, the Railway Board has demanded 25-30 percent more funds in the budget allocation of the Finance Ministry. In such a situation, this time the government can give a fund of about 2 trillion rupees to the Ministry of Railways in the budget. Before the budget, there is an atmosphere of enthusiasm in many sectors related to railways. There have also been many demands from the railway passengers.
Will the budget be an election budget?
This is the last full budget of the Modi government before the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. Along with this, before the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, there are elections in 10 states in the country in the year 2023 itself. In this, apart from big states like Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and Telangana, assembly elections are also to be held in Tripura, Meghalaya, Nagaland and Mizoram in the Northeast. Also, elections can be held in Jammu and Kashmir this year. In such a situation, in this railway budget to be presented before the elections, the central government can announce many new railway facilities related to common passengers. It is believed that this time’s rail budget can prove to be an election budget, especially in those states where elections are to be held. That’s why the central government can make some special announcement for them.
Railway’s income increased by 71 percent
However, the Ministry of Railways has so far achieved Rs 42,370 crore more revenue as compared to the previous financial year. If we compare it with last year, then this year the income of Railways has increased by 71 percent. Whereas earlier in the year 2021, there was a loss of Rs 26 thousand 338 crore. That’s why the government had stopped many concessions given to the common people. Seeing the strong figures of railway’s earnings, now once again people from all sections are demanding from the government to re-implement that subsidy. Especially senior citizens above 60 years of age who used to get up to 50 percent discount before the Kovid epidemic. It has now been discontinued.
However, according to the Ministry of Railways, there is no plan in this budget to give concession in rail tickets to senior citizens. The central government will invest mostly in the modernization of railways. Railways is also focusing on building better domestic infrastructure for manufacturing trains. In this, a plan is also being made to reduce foreign dependence on the wheels of trains.
New Vande Bharat Express train with sleeper facility
In this budget, emphasis can be laid on making new Vande Bharat Express train and Vande Bharat 2.0 with sleeper facility. Now sleeper berth will also be installed in this train. With this, long distance passengers will get the best sleeper train facility. This train will work like Rajdhani Express in which passengers will also get the facility of sleeper AC coach. In the Rail Budget 2023, a plan of Rs 2.70 lakh crore can be announced for 500 Vande Bharat, 35 hydrogen trains, 5000 LHB coaches, 58000 wagons.
By December 2023, 100 percent electrification of broad gauge railways will be completed.
It is noteworthy that during the announcement of the last Rail Budget, the Finance Minister had also announced the National Rail Plan 2030. Under this scheme, a plan was prepared for the development of railways. In this, it was announced to give a new look to the railway facilities. For this, the Center had talked about investing one lakh crore. By December 2023, 100 percent electrification of broad gauge railways will be completed. Similarly, metro rail system is being prepared in two cities of Tier-2 category and outer parts of Tier-1 category cities, under which Indian Railways will become the world’s first 100 percent green rail service by 2030. Along with this, the central government can announce the adoption of hyperloop technology in the rail budget this time. In this, travel is done through pod tubes or tunnels carrying passengers. This technique is faster than bullet train. Along with this, the government can also make big announcements regarding infrastructure in this budget.
The new railway track will be part of the new vision document of the Indian Railways
However, under Vision 2024 projects, in the second half of the decade, multitracking and signaling upgrades of congested routes are targeted, besides commissioning of new dedicated freight corridors and high speed passenger corridors. Along with this, the new railway track will be a part of the new vision document of Indian Railways. This will be completed in a phased manner. In the next financial year, a target of laying about 4000 km long line can be fixed. The new track bridge can also be doubled i.e. Rs 50,000 crore. According to the current price, laying a normal 1,00,000 kilometer line will cost around Rs 15-20 lakh crore.
7,000 km broad gauge line to be electrified
There may also be an announcement to electrify 7,000 km broad gauge line in the upcoming rail budget. An allocation of Rs 10,000 crore can be made for this. With the electrification of 7,000 km long broad gauge line, the target of electrifying the entire railway network will be achieved.
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