RAIL BUDGET 2016
In the Rail Budget 2016, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu announces a capital plan of Rs. 1,21,000 crore for 2016-17; claims action initiated on 139 budget announcements made last year. Railway Budget is a unique feature of the Indian Parliamentary system.
Probably, India is the only country in the world to have a budget dealing with a specific segment of the transport sector. A separate budget for the Railways also signifies the fact that the central role the Railways play in the economic and social life of the country.
|1||No hike in passenger fares.|
|2||Action has been initiated on 139 budget announcements made last year.|
|3||Eliminate all unmanned level crossings by 2020.|
|4||Swacch Bharat: 17000 biotoilets and additional toilets in 475 stations before the close of this financial year.|
|5||Increased quota for senior citizens and women travellers this year.|
|6||Wifi at 100 stations this year and 400 stations next year.|
|7||Enhanced capacity of e-ticketing system from 2,000 tickets/min to 7,200/min. Supporting 1.2 lakh concurrent users now, as opposed to 40,000 earlier.|
|8||All major stations to be brought under CCTV surveillance in a phased manner.|
|9||Deen Dayal coaches for long distance trains for unreserved passengers. These coaches will include potable water and higher number of mobile charging points.|
|10||IRCTC to manage catering service in phased manner. Local cuisine of choice will be made available to passengers.|
|11||Cleaning of toilets by requests through SMS.|
|12||Children’s menu, baby foods, baby boards to be made available for travelling mothers.|
|13||GPS-based digital display in coaches for showing upcoming stations.|
|14||Will open cancellation facility through 139 helpline number.|
|15||Introduce bar-coded tickets on pilot basis to tackle menace of ticketless travel.|
On new projects to be implemented this year:
|1||Overnight double-decker trains to be introduced on business travel routes.|
|2||1,600 km of electrification this year and 2,000 km proposed for the next year.|
|3||Broad Gauge Lumding-Silchar section in Assam, connecting Barak Valley with rest of country.|
|4||North-East India, especially Mizoram and Manipur, to be connected through broad gauge soon.|
|5||Special purpose vehicle for the Ahmedabad-Mumbai high speech corridor registered this month.|
What Prabhu Proposed?
Theme of the Budget:
- ‘Chalo, Milkar Kuch Naya Karen’ for overcoming challenges – Reorganize, Rejuvenate, Restructure Indian Railways
- Three pillars strategy: Nav Arjan – New revenues, Nav Manak – New norms, Nav Sanrachna – New Structures.
- No new hike in passenger fares and Freight fares. Promised to bring down freight rates and double non-tariff revenue for the ailing national transport.
- For the unreserved passenger: (i) Antyodaya Express superfast unreserved service.
- (ii) Deen Dayalu unreserved coaches with potable water facility and higher number of mobile charging points.
- For the reserved passenger: (i) Humsafar: Fully air-conditioned service with an optional service for meals.
- (ii) Tejas: It will operate at speeds of 130 kmph and above and shall showcase the future of train travel in India. It will offer onboard services such as local cuisine, entertainment, WiFi, etc.
- (iii)UDAY (Utkrisht Double-Decker Air-conditioned Yatri) Express: Overnight double-decker express on the busiest routes. Potential to increase carrying capacity by almost 40%.
- (iv) SMART (Specially Modified Aesthetic Refreshing Travel) Coaches: These coaches are designed to ensure higher carrying capacity and provision of new amenities including automatic doors, bio-vacuum toilets, bar-code readers, water-level indicators, accessible dustbins, ergonomic seating, vending machines, improved aesthetics, LED lit boards for advertising, entertainment screens, PA system.
- Cleanliness: SMS service ‘Clean my Coach’, ranking of A1 and A railway stations based on periodic third party audit and passenger feedback, Awareness campaigns.
- Waste segregation and recycling centres, additional 30,000 bio-toilets etc.
- Catering and stalls at stations: IRCTC will manage catering services in a phased manner; explore possibility of making catering services optional, build local ownership and empowerment. Railway is extending e-catering to all rail stations. IRCTC will make available local cuisine of choice, hygienic food. Travelling mothers, Children’s menu, baby foods, baby boards will be made available.
- Women Quota: 33 per cent sub-quota for women will be provided under all reserved categories. Railways will also increase the quota of lower berths for women and senior citizens
- Rail Mitra Sewa: Strengthening the existing services for enabling passengers to book battery operated cars, porter services, etc.
- Expanding Sarathi Seva in Konkan Railway to help the disabled and old passengers.
- Ticketing: Capacity of e-ticketing system has been enhanced from 2000 tickets per min to 7,200 per min Railway introduces 1,780 ticket-vending machines. e-ticket facility for foreign debit, credit card holders
- Mobile Applications: Integrating all facilities into two mobile apps that will deal with ticketing issues and for receipt and it will also redressal of complaints and suggestions.
- Pilgrimage centres: The provisions of passenger amenities and beautification on stations at pilgrimage centres including will be undertaken on priority basis. Aastha circuit trains will connect important pilgrim centres.
- High Speed Rail: From Mumbai to Ahmedabad will be undertaken with the assistance of the Government of Japan. Prime benefit would be providing technology advancements and new manufacturing capability.
- Entertainment: Invite FM Radio stations for providing train borne entertainment. Extension of ‘Rail Bandhu’ in all regional languages to all reserved classes of travellers.
- Rationalising the tariff structure: Tariff policy will be revived to evolve a competitive rate structure, signing long term tariff contracts customers using pre-determined price escalation principles with key freight.
- Building terminal capacity: Developing Rail side logistics parks and warehousing in PPP mode, TRANSLOC (Transport Logistics Company of India) will develop 10 goods sheds in 2016-17.
- India’s first rail auto hub will be inaugurated in Chennai. Rail University will come at Vadodara, Gujarat.
- Development of cold storage facilities on vacant land near freight terminals in which local farmers and fisherman will be given preferential usage of the facility.
- Nurturing customers: Appointing key Customer Managers to liaison major freight stakeholders. Each Zonal Railway will develop customer commitment charter indicating service level commitments of Indian Railways.
- Travel Insurance to passengers: Optional travel insurance will be offered for rail journeys at the time of booking.
- Process Improvements: (i) Finalization of EPC projects standard document to implement at least 20 projects in 2016-17. In future, endeavouring all works valuing above Rs. 300 crore through EPC contracts.
- (ii) Contracts based on performance output parameters in order to review service contracts to integrate them outcome focused and simpler.
- (iii) Leveraging technology for project management, using latest drone technology and Geo Spatial based satellite technology for remotely reviewing the physical progress across major projects. GPS-based digital display in coaches for showing upcoming stations.
- (iv) System-wide Information Technology integration through innovative partnership models.
- Rail Development Authority: It will be established as statutory body to enable fair pricing of railway services and promote competition, protect customer interests and determine efficiency standards.
- Tourism: (i) Indian Railways will partner with State Governments for operating tourist circuit trains, promotion of tourism through UNESCO world heritage Railways and Railway museums.
- (ii) To spread awareness about our National Animal, the Tiger, complete packages including train journey, safaris and accommodation to cover the wildlife circuit comprising Kanha, Pench and Bandhavgarh will be offered.
✒ A separate Railway Budget, which is different from the General Budget, was first introduced in 1924 on the basis of recommendations of the 10-member Acworth Committee.
Acworth Committee on Indian Railways November 15, 2015. In 1920, an East Indian Railway Committee was constituted under the chairmanship of Sir William Acworth.
This committee consisted of 10 members and among them 3 were Indians viz.
- V S Sriniwas Sastri (Member of Council of States) ,
- Purshottam Das Thakurdas (representing Indian Commercial Interests) and
- Rajendra Nath Mukherjee.
The Acworth Committee recommended the consolidation and nationalization of the Indian Railways. Based upon the recommendations of Acworth Committee, the Finances of Railways were separated in 1924 and thus from 1924 onwards, the Railway Budget is separated from the General Budget.
✒ The committee, which submitted its report in 1921, was headed by British railway economist William Mitchell Acworth. It was appointed by the British Government to suggest measures for improving financial performance of the Railways.
✒ It is presented by the Union Railway Minster annually as a money bill in the Lok Sabha. The first ever live telecast of the Railway budget took place on 24 March 1994.
✒ Though the term Railway Budget is no where mentioned in the Constitution of India, it is introduced and passed in the Lok Sabha under the Articles 112 and 204 of the Constitution that govern the General Budget.
✒ Usually, the Rail budget is presented annually few days prior to the presentation of the General Budget. It precedes the submission of the Economic Survey of the previous financial year.
✒ The Indian Railways is one the largest Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) in India. It holds the distinction of providing employment to around 1.36 million.
✒ The first passenger train under the tag name of Indian Railways ran on 16 April 1853 between Bombay and Thane in present day Maharashtra.
✒ The Centre for Railway Information Systems (CRIS) located in Chanakyapuri, New Delhi introduced Computer reservation system for the first time in July 1986.
✒ Lalu Prasad Yadav holds the record of presenting the budget for six years in a row. He was the Union Minister of Railways between 2004 and 2009 under the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government.
✒ In 2002, Mamata Banerjee became the first women minister to present the budget. She also holds the distinction of presenting the budget under two different governments – National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and the UPA.
✒ In 2014, Railway Minister D V Sadananda Gowda presented the first railway budget, under the NDA headed by Narendra Modi.
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