Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has presented the Union Budget for the financial year 2017-18 in Parliament on Wednesday. This budget proved to be historic as this is the first time that the Railways Budget has been presented along with the General Budget.
For the first time in the history of Independent India, a Finance Minister has presented Railways Budget in his tenure. Reacting on this in his Budget speech, current FM Arun Jailtey termed this merger as historic.
He said that the merger of Railways Budget with General Budget brings focus on a multi-modal approach to the development of railways, highways and inland water transport.
In its statement, Railways said that it will focus on 4 major areas. Passenger safety, Capital and development work, Cleanliness, Financial and accounting reforms.
Here are the highlights of Budget 2017-18 for Railways:
# Expanditure of Rs 1.31 lakh crore pegged for Capital and develelopment for Railways in 2017-18 for Budget.
# Railways will integrate end to end transport solutions for selected commodities through partnership
# By 2019 all coaches of Indian Railways will be fitted with Bio-Toilets
# A new metro rail policy will be announced, this will open up new jobs for our youth
# Railway related state-run companies like IRCON and IRCTC to be listed on stock exchange
# Railway tariffs to be fixed on the basis of cost, social obligation and competition
# Unmanned railway level crossings to be eliminated by 2020
# Service charge on e-tickets booked through IRCTC to be withdrawn
# Rail safety fund with a corpus of Rs 100,000 crore to be created over a period of 5 years
# Government proposes Coach Mitra facility to redress grievances related to rail coaches
# At least 25 stations expected to be awarded during 2017-18; 500 stations to be made differently abled-friendly by providing lifts & escalators
# Steps will be taken to launch dedicated trains for pilgrimage and tourism