Railway Minister Lalu Prasad presented the Railway Budget 2007-08 in the Lok Sabha on Monday.
Following are the highlights of the Railway Budget:
2006-07: Review of Performance and Revised Estimates
- Record breaking performance in the first nine months of the year 2006-07
- Freight earnings register growth of 17%. Incremental loading of 59 MT likely to be achieved
- Growth in Passenger Earnings, Other Coaching Earnings and Sundry Earnings 14%, 48% and 11% respectively
- Gross Traffic Earnings register an unprecedented growth of 17%
- In Revised Estimates Passenger Earnings, Other Coaching Earnings, Freight Earnings and Sundry Earnings expected to be Rs 17,400 cr, Rs 1,726 cr and Rs 42,299 cr, Rs. 1,695 cr respectively
- Gross Traffic Revenues projected at Rs 63,120 cr are 16% higher than the previous year and 5.5% higher than the Budget Estimates
- Cash Surplus before dividend expected to be Rs 20,000 cr
- Net Revenue expected at Rs 14,870 cr and Net surplus after payment of dividend expected at Rs 10,627 cr
- Operating Ratio likely to be 78.7% - best ever for IR and one of the best in world Railways
- Year end fund balances likely to increase from Rs 12,000 cr in 2005-06 to Rs 16,000 cr
- Return on capital set to reach historic level of 20%
- In spite of reduction in Passenger fares, the losses in passenger business expected to come down
2007-08: Initiatives taken for improvement in Freight Business
- Target for freight loading kept at 785 Million Tonnes (MT) in 2007-08
- Mission 200 MT - Railways' target higher share in transportation of Cement and Steel - 200 MT each by 2011-12
- Mission 100 MT - container traffic target of 100 MT by 2011-12
- Planning for Triple-stack container trains on diesel route and double-stack container trains on electrified route
- Railways offer to run Merry-go-round systems of power plants
- Upgradation of Freight terminals handling more than 15 rakes per month.
- 22.9 tonnes and 25 tonnes axle-load freight trains to run on more routes
- Production of wagons of higher axle-load and payload to commence
- Wagon manufacturers to be encouraged to design wagons with higher payload and new technology
- Majority of air-brake trains to be examined in accordance with premium CC or premium end-to-end examination system
- Implementation of Unit Exchange Maintenance for rolling stock to improve productivity
- Zonal Railway to engage independent marketing agencies for exploring further possibilities in freight business
Initiatives in passenger business:
- 800 more coaches to be attached in popular trains
- Plan to provide cushioned seats in unreserved second class coaches
- Increase in unreserved second class coaches from four to six in every new train Efforts will be made to increase unreserved second class coaches in existing trains also.
- Facility for reservation of lower berths for senior citizens and women above 45 years traveling alone
- Increase in provision of special coaches (SLRD & SRD) for Physically challenged passengers
- Vendor coaches for sections frequented by milk and vegetable vendors and other retail sellers
- More convenient, comfortable and high capacity new design passenger coaches will be manufactured
- Concession of 50% in second class for candidates appearing for main written examination conducted by SSC and UPSC
Facilitating travel by passengers
Countrywide Train Enquiry call centres Common Tel. No. 139
Pilot project for providing hand held terminals to TTEs in reserved coaches to update PRS with onboard vacancies for giving reservation to passengers at ensuing stations without delay
Expansion of reserved ticketing facilities
PRS counters to be opened at premises of Post-offices and Defence organizations to be operated by them
e-ticketing services through State Government's e-services, Petrol pumps, Bank's ATMs etc.
Expansion of Unreserved Ticketing facilities
UTS counters to be increased to 8000 in the next 2 years
6000 Automatic Ticket Vending Machines to be installed and linked to UTS in metropolitan cities in the next 2 years
Coupon system for ticket distribution to be extended to Kolkata and Chennai
Pilot project on Central Railway for issuing suburban tickets through multi-purpose smart cards
Passenger Amenities at Stations
- 300 more stations to be developed as modern stations.
- Year 2007 declared 'Cleanliness Year' - Special campaign to ensure cleanliness in station complexes, passenger trains, railway lines, waiting rooms etc.
11th five-year plan Railways' new profile
- Target of 1,100 MT freight loading and 840 crore passengers in the terminal year of 11th Plan.
- Focus would be on doubling transport capacity and reducing unit cost of transportation by increasing volumes.
- Short-term strategy- investing in low cost high return projects for eliminating bottlenecks and ensuring intensive asset utilization
- Mid and long-term strategy twin pronged approach of network expansion and modernization and technical upgradation
- Public-private partnerships projects will play an important role.
- Construction of Eastern and Western Dedicated Freight Ccorridors at a cost of Rs 30,000 cr will commence from 2007-08 for completion during the 11th plan.
- Pre-feasibility surveys for East-West, East-South, North-South and South-South Corridors
- Most of the metre-gauge lines will be converted into broad-gauge by the end of this five-year plan.
- High speed Passenger Corridors to be constructed to run trains at more than 300 km/hr speed.
- Expansion of suburban services through completion of MUTP Phase-1 and initiating MUTP Phase-2 through joint funding
- Efforts to provide air-conditioned suburban trains in Chennai, Kolkata and Mumbai and escalators at important stations
- The production of rolling stock will be doubled compared with previous plan. Production of high-horse power and energy efficient locos to be increased.
- Manifold increase in investment in IT to increase earnings, ensure effective utilization of human and physical resources and facilitate long-term policy decisions
- Commercial portal to be developed over next 3 years for better yield management
- Integrated time bound implementation of all FOIS modules by 2010.
- ERP package for workshops, production units and select Zonal Railways
- Number of rail accidents has decreased despite substantial increase in volume of traffic
- Majority of Special Railway Safety Fund works will be completed by March, 2007. Balance to be completed by March, 2008.
- Testing of Anti-Collision Device in last stages
- General Managers empowered to sanction subways costing up to Rs 50 lakhs on unmanned level crossings for reducing accidents.
- Production of improved crashworthy coaches will be increased.
- Number of trained dogs will be increased in the existing dog squads.
- Door frame and hand held metal detectors to detect explosives being installed in many sensitive divisions and CCTV, smart video cameras etc for sensitive stations
- 8,000 vacancies will be filled in the RPF on all India basis.
- Jagjivan Ram Railway Suraksha Bal Academy (Lucknow) has been recognised as Centralized Training Institute.