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Home > India > Business > Budget 2008-09 > Business Headline > Report

Highlights of Railway Budget 2008-09

February 26, 2008 12:24 IST
Last Updated: February 26, 2008 16:09 IST

Union Railway Minister Lalu Yadav presented the Railway Budget for 2008-09 in Parliament on Tuesday.

Following are the highlights:

Review of performance: 2007-08

  • Double digit growth in traffic earnings maintained in first nine months.
  • Growth in passenger earnings 14%.
  • Expected growth in goods earnings 14%.
  • Gross Traffic Revenues 16% higher than the previous year and 2% higher than the Budget Estimates.
  • Operating Ratio likely to improve from the budgeted 79.6 to 76.3 per cent - best in last four decades.
  • Return on Capital - an all time high of 21 per cent.
  • Cash Surplus before dividend expected to be a record Rs.25,000 cr.
  • Net Revenue expected at Rs. 18,416 cr and surplus after payment of dividend expected at Rs.13,534 cr.

Budget estimates 2008-09

  • Freight loading target: 850 million tones.
  • Revenues in Freight earnings to be Rs.52,700 cr;  Passenger earnings to be Rs.21,681 cr.
  • Gross Traffic Receipts to be Rs.81,901 cr - an increase of 12.6 per cent over RE.
  • Cash surplus before Dividend to be Rs.24,783 cr after making an ad-hoc provision of nearly Rs.5000 cr for anticipated recommendations of the VI Central Pay Commission.

Annual Plan 2008-09

  • The Annual Plan of Rs.37,500 cr is the largest ever Annual Plan so far.
  • Thrust areas include enhancement of high density network routes, improvement and expansion of traffic facility and network, construction of flyovers, bypasses and upgradation of goods-sheds.
  • New Lines  - Rs.1,730 cr, Gauge conversion - Rs.2,489 cr, Electrification - Rs.626 cr, Metropolitan Transport Projects - Rs.650 cr.
  • Track renewal - Rs.3,600 cr, Bridges - Rs. 600 cr, Signal & Telecommunication works -Rs.1,520 cr, Road over/under bridges - Rs. 700 cr and manning of unmanned level crossings - Rs.600 cr.
  • Passenger amenities - Rs. 852 cr, the highest so far.
  • Targets : New Lines - 350 kms, Gauge conversion - 2,150 kms, Doubling - 1000 kms.

Passenger services


  • 10 new Garib Raths to be introduced.
  • 53 pairs of new trains.
  • Extension of trains : 16 pairs.
  • Increase in frequency : 11 pairs.
  • 300 additional services in Mumbai suburban.
  • Special train from Anandpur Sahib and Patna Sahib to Gurudwara Sachkhand Sahib during tercentenary function of Shri Guru Granth Sahib of Gurta Gaddi.
  • Special train between Pune and Delhi for Commonwealth Youth Games being held in Pune from 12th-18th October this year.


  • Provision of on-line coach indication display board; on-line train arrival departure information board; on-line reservation availability information board.
  • Provision of discharge-free green toilets in all 36,000 coaches in XI Plan period at a cost of about Rs.4,000 cr.
  • LHB design coaches for all Rajdhani and Shatabdi trains over next few years.
  • Provision of LHB coaches with stainless steel bogies in Mail/Express trains.


  • Senior citizen concession for women enhanced to 50% from existing 30%.
  • Free Monthly Seasonal Ticket to girl students up to graduation level in place of 12th standard and for boys up to 12th standard in place of 10th standard.

Improvements in ticketing

  • Termination of queues at ticket counters targeted in two years.
  • Ticket booking on mobile phones;  E-ticket for waitlisted passengers.
  • Increase in Unreserved Ticketing Systems counters to 15,000 and ATVMs to 6000.

Reduction in passenger fares

  • One rupee discount per passenger for fares up to Rs.50 in non suburban Second Class (ordinary and mail/express)
  • 5% discount across the board for passenger fares beyond Rs.50 for all non suburban Second Class (ordinary and mail/express).
  • Increase in discount for travel in new design high capacity reserved coaches.
  • Reduction in fare - AC-I : 7%; and AC-II : 4% (the reduction will be half for popular trains and during peak period).

Freight business

Reductions & Concessions

  • 5%  reduction in freight rates for Petrol and Diesel.
  • 14% reduction in freight rate of Fly-ash.
  • Liberalisation of Traditional Empty Flow direction incentive scheme
  • 30% discount on entire traffic in place of incremental traffic booked from goods shed.
  • Increase in discount on incremental traffic booked from private sidings from 30% to 40%.
  • 6% freight concession for traffic booked from other States for stations in North Eastern States.

New Initiatives

  • Target for loading fixed at 850 MT in 2008-09.
  • Blue - Print prepared for High Density Network.
  • Top priority being given to port rail connectivity projects.
  • New and dedicated iron ore routes to be upgraded/constructed.
  • Work on Eastern freight corridor from Ludhiana to Dankuni (Kolkata) and Western freight corridor from Delhi to JNPT to start in 2008-09.
  • Procurement of Rolling Stock: All time high of 20,000 wagons, 250 diesel and 220 electric locomotives to be manufactured.
  • New Wagon Leasing Policy and Wagon Investment Scheme formulated to increase availability of wagons in the system.
  • Discounts for development of bulk and non-bulk goods terminals.

Safety & security

  • Multi-pronged scheme to strengthen railway safety through various automatic devices like anti-collision device etc.
  • Rail accidents have reduced remarkably despite substantial increase in gross traffic volumes.
  • Fire resistant material to be used in coaches.
  • Unmanned level crossings at busy sections to be manned on a fast track basis.
  • Integrated security plan drawn up through installation of CCTVs, metal detectors etc.

Welfare measures

Social Welfare

  • 99%  backlog vacancies for SCs/STs filled up in special campaign launched since 2004.
  • Appointment of candidates from SCs/STs/OBCs exceeded their respective quotas in Group D appointments.
  • Minorities welfare cells to be opened at Railway Board and Zonal Railways.
  • One time exercise of appointing Railway Porters as gangmen and to other Group D posts.
  • Mother-Child Health Express to be run on a pilot basis at concessional fares in collaboration with Rajiv Gandhi Foundation for providing medical facilities to mother and child.

Staff welfare

  • Per-capita contribution to Staff Benefit Fund to be increased by ten times from Rs.35 to Rs.350 for 2008-09.
  • Northern Railway Central Hospital at Delhi to be made centrally air-conditioned.
  • Two divisional hospitals at Jaipur and Hubli to be upgraded to central hospitals.
  • A new divisional hospital at Ranchi and an OPD block at Integral Coach Factory to be constructed.
  • Employees who joined Railways from other agencies/PSUs etc and are eligible for pensionary benefits, would now be eligible for post retirement complimentary passes as per the norms being set.

Future vision

  • Vision 2025 document aims at setting the roadmap for coming 17 years � customer centric and market responsive strategic initiatives.
  • Information Technology Vision 2012 aims at radical changes in IT applications on a common platform with focus on improvement in operational efficiency, transparency in working ad better services to the customers.
  • Multi-Departmental Innovation Promotion Group at Apex Level.
  • Public-Private Partnership schemes to be launched for attracting an investment of Rs.1,00,000 cr over the next five years for developing world class stations, rolling stock ad other logistics.
  • Commercial use of Railway land by Rail Land Development Authority to give a boost to Railway Revenues.

Other important announcements

  • A new rail coach factory to be set up in Kerala.
  • A new wagon re-construction unit to be set up at Garkha in Chapra District.
  • Modernisation and development of Workshops at Jamalpur, Lilluah, Perambur and Ajmer.
  • Taking over of Mokama and Muzaffarpur wagon factories.
  • Setting up of a 1000 MW thermal power plant, a joint venture of Indian Rail Bijli Company Ltd. with NTPC,  at Nabinagar District of Auragabad, Bihar.

Railway Budget 2008-09: Complete Coverage

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Source: Press Information Bureau