Railways Likely To Get Rs 65,000 Crore In Interim Budget

Arun Kumar Das

Jan 31, 2024, 10:44 AM | Updated 10:31 AM IST

A Siemens locomotive for the Indian Railways. (Pradeep Kumar)
A Siemens locomotive for the Indian Railways. (Pradeep Kumar)

The Indian Railways expenditures for April-June period in the interim budget has been kept at about Rs 65,000 crore with focus on manufacturing of Vande Bharat, Vande Metro and Amrit Bharat trains.

While the 'Vote On Account' to be presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on 1 February is expected to prioritise infrastructure spending to maintain economic growth and reduce the fiscal deficit, the 2024 Union Budget allocation for the rail sector is slated to be significant to keep the momentum going.

The interim budget before the general elections is likely to focus on relief for the middle class, measures to check inflation, agriculture, manufacturing, welfare schemes, and the goal of building a $5 trillion economy.

The railways has made an expenditure of Rs 195,929.97 crore till December 2023 which is approximately 75 per cent of its total capital expenditure (capex) of Rs 2.62 lakh crore during this financial year.

During the same period in December 2022, Indian Railways witnessed capex utilisation of Rs 146,248.73 crore. This year, capex utilisation is approximately 33 per cent more in comparison to the last year’s corresponding period.

The railways would like to continue the investment in various infrastructure projects like new lines, doubling, gauge conversion, and enhancing passenger amenities.

In order to achieve zero accident rate, the railways has decided to implement Kavach, the indigenous-built anti-collision devices, in the entire rail network while eliminating the level crossings with rail over bridge (ROB) and rail underbridge (RUB).

Safety of the passengers is paramount in railways and a significant amount has been invested in enhancing the safety related works.

The railways has undertaken a massive exercise of station redevelopment programme across the country under the Amrit Bharat scheme. The budget is likely to give a further push to the ongoing exercise for revamping stations to provide better passenger amenities.

The recruitment exercise being undertaken in the railways for various posts would also continue with more opportunities for job-seekers in the railway sector.

The budget will also emphasise the government’s economic vision for women, youth, farmers, and the poor.

While announcements of major new schemes are unlikely, there could be some adjustments to direct taxes and customs duties.

Get Swarajya in your inbox.