Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal announced the annual railway budget 2013 in parliament today (Tuesday). At the starting of his budget itself Mr. Bansal quoted inspirational words from Christine Weatherly before the beginning of his speech and then thanked the 14 lakh odd employees of the railways for their constant support and dedication throughout the year. Seemingly after this the minster stated his concern and dilemmas especially the financial concern faced by the Railways. He stated that the losses continue to mount and quoted Rs 26,000 crore as the losses for the standing financial year. He affirmed that these losses to a certain extent have been a reason for fall in service. He also admitted that mounting scarcity of resource also remains a crucial factor.
The Railway Budget 2013 highlights are as follows with subheading and relevant points from the Minister Bansal's Railway Budget Speech
Safety and Security
•Implementation of Corporate Safety Plan (2014-2024)
•Elimination of almost 10797 level crossings
•Introduction of warning and automatic signaling systems
•Train Collision Avoidance System
•Use of improved flash butt welding technology
•Introduction of Crash worthy LHB Courses
•Introduction of Self propelled accident relief trains
•Rehabilitation and construction of bridges
•Comprehensive Fire and smoke detention system
•Use of fire retardant furnishing material
•Measures for elephant related accidents
•Deployment of more force specially female CRPF Force
•Immediate attention to all aspects relating to cleanliness
•Progressive extension of bio toilets in trains
•Use of mechanized cleaning facilities
•Extension of housekeeping staff
•Extension of unreserved ticketing system
•Setting of more rail bottling plants
•Project for some trains wherein passengers can contact staff.
•Mechanized laundry system
•Digital and electric display boards
• Enlisting Organizations for first aid services
•Use of escalators and lifts
•Helping blind travelers specially in terms of train charts and other information and also making user friendly coaches
•Curbing malpractices in ticket reservation
•Extending present hours for internet booking
•E ticket through mobile phones
•Improvement of Integrated Train enquiry service “139”
•Covering trains under Real Time Information System (RTIS)
•Aadhar to be used for passenger and staff related services’
•Next generation E ticket System
•Launch of multimodal travel package for Jammu and Kashmir
•Issuance of Yatra Parchis to those travelling to Mata Vaishnavo Devi shrine
•Aazadi express, a special train covering place of the freedom movement
•Executive launch in seven new stations 7 more stations, namely, Bilaspur, Visakhapatnam, Patna, Nagpur, Agra, Jaipur and Bengaluru.
Fares and Freights
•No hike in passanger fares
•Proposal for railway tariff regulatory authority
•Fuel Adjustment Component (FAC) for freight tariff to be implemented
•Additional charges for superfast, reservations, clerks fees as well cancellations
•Enhanced reservation fee has been abolished
•67 express trains
•26 passanger services (8 DEMU and 5 MEMU services to be started)
•57 train routes to be extended
•Frequency of 24 trains to be extended
•Introduction of first AC EMU for Mumbai suburban network in 2013-14.
•Introduction of 72 additional services in Mumbai and 18 in Kolkata
•Length of boogies increased from 9 to12 in case of 80 services in Kolkata and 30 services in Chennai
•Complimentary Ist Class and 2nd AC passes for Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna and Dyan Chand Award winners
•Complimentary passes for Olympic medialist and Dronacharaya Award winners awarded in Rajdhani and Shatabadi trains
•Passes for sportsmen to travel by Rajdhani and Shatabadi
•Complimentary passes to parents of unmarried awardees of Mahavir Chakra, Vir Chakra, Kirthi Chakra, Vir Chakra and winners of president's medal and police gallantry medals
•Police Gallantry medal awardees to be given one complimentary pass every year
•Passes for freedom fighters to be renewed once in every three years
Training and Recruitment
•1.52 lakh recruitment to be made this year out of which 47000 have earmarked for weaker section and physically challenged candidates
• Proposal of 25 railway trade related centers
•Proposal for multi disciplinary institute at Nagpur
•Setting up of centralized training institute at Secunderabad (Indian Railway Institution of Financial Management)
•Five Fellowships in national universities to encourage students to take IR related subjects at Masters and PHD level
• TERI promoting Railway Research
•Loading target revised to 1007 MT against 1025 MT in BE.
•Gross Traffic Receipts fixed at 1,25,680 cr in RE, short by 6,872 crore over Budget Estimates.
•Ordinary Working Expenses retained at BE level of 84,400 cr; pension payments increased by 1,500 cr to 20,000 crore.
•Dividend liability to government to be fully discharged.
•‘Excess’ of 10,409 cr as against the budget amount of 15,557 crore.
•Loan of 3,000 cr taken in 2011-12 fully repaid along with interest.
•Operating Ratio of 88.8% as compared to 94.9% in 2011-12.
•Freight loading of 1047 MT, 40 MT more than 2012-13.
•Passenger growth - 5.2%.
•Gross Traffic Receipts -1, 43,742 cr i.e. an increase of 18,062 crore over RE, 2012-13.
•Ordinary Working Expenses -96,500 crore.
•Appropriation to DRF at 7,500 cr and to Pension Fund at 22,000 cr.
•Dividend payment estimated at 6,249 crore.
•Operating Ratio to be 87.8%.
•Fund Balances to exceed 12,000 crore.
•Highest ever plan outlay of 63363 crore
•Gross Budgetary Support -26,000 crore
•Railway Safety Fund - 2,000 crore
•Internal Resources - 14,260 crore
•EBR - Market Borrowing - 15,103 crore
•EBR - PPP - 6,000 crore
•500 km new lines, 750 km doubling, 450 km gauge conversion targeted in 2013-14
•Rs 300 crore as fund allocation for staff quarters
•Hotel facilities for single women railway employees
•Extended treatment to RELHS beneficiaries in all cities in hosipitals tied up with CGHS and Railway
•Improvement in conditions of barracks for personell
•Provision of water closets and AC’s for locomotive cabs to avoid stress for loco pilots.
•No demand for grants introduced in monsoon session or winter session of parliament
•Payment of Rs 3000 crore loan
•347 projects with assured funding
•Initiating of various important projects
•A new fund- Debt Service Fund to meet to liabilities
•Stringent targets for efficiency in mantainenace of rolling back and consumption
•Creation of Fund balance of Rs 30000 crore for terminal year of 12th plan
•One billion Ton select member Club
•Select member of freight trains for more than 1000 tones
•Target of Rs 1000 crore each fixed for Rail Land Development Authority and IR Station Development Corporation to be raised through PPP in2013-14;
•New fund – Debt Service Fund – to be set up to meet committed liabilities of debt servicing for WB and JICA loans for DFC and other future liabilities.
27 February 2013