Anticipating healthier economic growth, the Railways has targeted a record Rs 1.6 lakh crore in revenue for the next financial year, while no increase has been proposed in passenger fares and freight rates.
"The Budget Estimates for goods, passenger, other coaching and sundry other earnings have been kept at Rs 1,05,770 crore, Rs 45,255 crore, Rs 4,200 crore and Rs 5,500 crore, respectively, in 2014-15," Railways Minister Mallikarjun Kharge said in the Lok Sabha while unveiling the Interim Rail Budget.
In the current financial year, earnings from freight and passenger services are estimated at Rs 1,31,500 crore.
No increase in passenger fares and freight rates has been proposed in the Interim Rail Budget for 2014-15.
According to the budget document, the Annual Plan for 2014-15 envisages investments of Rs 64,305 crore. The Budget Estimate for 2013-14 was Rs 63,363 crore and the Revised Estimate was Rs 59,359 crore.
Budgetary support from general revenue has been proposed at Rs 30,223 crore, it said. "Anticipating a healthier growth of economy, the freight traffic target is proposed at 1,101 million tonnes, an increment of 49.7 million tonnes over the current year's revised target of about 1,052 million tonnes," the budget document said.
The document said ordinary working expenses have been proposed at Rs 1,10,649 crore in 2014-15, which is Rs 13,589 crore higher than the revised estimate for the current year.
"This will take care of additional requirements on account of fresh recruitment, increase in dearness allowance rates, increase in fuel bill, higher lease charges payable to IRFC and general inflationary increases," it said.
Pension outgo, it said, has been budgeted at Rs 27,000 crore as against the revised 2013-14 estimate of Rs 24,000 crore. Total working expenses are budgeted at Rs 1,44,199 crore compared with Rs 1,27,260 crore in revised estimate for 2013-14.
"This will leave a net revenue before dividend of Rs 19,655 crore, and operating ratio of 89.8 per cent. Dividend payable to General Revenues is estimated at Rs 9,117 crore," the document added.
It is estimated that at the end of 2014-15, the balance under the Railway Funds will be Rs 12,728 crore as against Rs 8,018 crore in the revised estimate for 2013-14. Considering the trend of earnings and expenditure in 2013-14, Kharge said the revised plan outlay stands at Rs 59,359 crore.
The operating ratio of the Railways is likely to be 90.8 per cent as against a budgeted target of 87.8 per cent.