Railway Budget 2008 – 2009 – Highlights – Presented Today

Today the Railway Budget was presented and the Railways have a cash surplus of Rs 25000 crore in FY08. Its operating ratio is at 76%. Its work force stood at 14 lakh workers in FY08. The Minister informed that reduced fares increased volumes and profits.

Highlights from Railway Budget 2008-2009:

>Sleeper, II class fares cut 5%
>10 Garib Raths in FY09
>Fares for AC-I cut by 7%, AC-II 4%, AC-III 3%
>Freight on fuels cut 5%
>Rs 68788 cr for 5 years cash surplus
>Dividend of Rs 88 rupees
>There were lean season discounts offered
>Peak season attracted surcharges
>Railway Fund Balance up at Rs 20,480 cr
>Railways adopted tariff to up market share; revenue
>Apr-Dec freight loading revenue is up 8-10% at Rs 34,700 cr
>Railways will look at leveraging telecom boom for ticketing
>There will be an increase in ticketing counters to 15,000 in 2 years from the current 3,000 now
>Revenue from passenger fares increased by 14%
>FY09 freight loading seen at 790 MT vs 785 MT in FY08
>FY08 rail operating ratio at 76.3%
>Trials for mobile ticketing have already started
>Railways to launch the Go-Mumbai Card/ Smart Card
>Online information display in overnight trains of long distance
>Rs 4000 cr to be spent on 36000 coaches for greent toilets in next 5 year plan
>Low mainenance and more comfortable stainless steel coaches to be introduced from 2010
>To have online control of trains in 2 years
>To link trains via software communication by 2009
>New coaches in all Rajdhani trains by 2010-11
>To start making steel coaches from FY09
>Level of Platforms to be upgraded for passenger convenience
>30 Bigger stations to have multi level parking system
>50 large stations to have lifts / escalators- for convenience of senior citizens
>233 million ton loading was done in the year
>Additional earnings of Rs 2000 cr on freight service
>To upgrade infrastructure in 7 years at Rs 75,000 cr
>310 mn tonnes of additional freight loading in the next 3 yrs
>75000 cr in next 7 yrs to further develop saturated transportation lines
>To up auto ticket sale machines to 6,000 in 2 years
>Plan to set up 20,000 km high density network
>FY08 coal freight loading seen at 336 MT
>Work on connecting road for Pipavav Port completed
>25 tonne and 30 tonne axel load trains allowed for iron ore transport
>100 mn tonne business from cement industry
>200 mn target targeted till 2011
>50 new terminals to be developed for storage
>SPV for links to Mundra, Kandla, Krishnapatnam ports
>25-30 tonne axle load trains to be started
>Annual steel traffic aim of 200 mt in 2011 vs 120 mt now
>To manufacture 20000 wagons in 2008-09
>To manufacture wagons having capacity of 22.9 tonnes in 2008-09
>50 big terminals planned in Mumbai, Pune, Ghaziabad
>Concor to set up 8 depots
>Wagons would be available on lease here on
>Have 15 licensed operators for container trains
>To increase container train operators to 50-55 trains
>To have new wagon leasing policy
>New Bulk handling facilities to be erected for cement
>No busy season surcharge for cement transported in bulk via new facilities
>To have new policy for bulk handling terminals
>Special focus on door to door and value added services
>No busy season surcharge for bulk cement transport via new facilities
>SBUs (Strategic Business Unit) planned for cement, steel, coal, container sectors
>Rs 250,000 cr worth of funds required by the Railways over the next 5 years for IT upgradation
>1 lakh crore worth of PPP (Public Private Partnerships) planned over the next 5 years
>Will look at multi model parks for Railways at various locations
>Railway property to fetch 4000 crore in 2008-09
>CCTVs and metal detectors to be put up at all stations
>60 yrs and older passengers get 30% discount, female above 60 get 50% discount
>Plan fire prevention device in coaches on pilot basis
>Anti-fire gear to cost Rs 7,000 cr if pilot successful
>Mother-Child Healthcare Express to be run in alliance with Rajiv Gandhi Foundation
>Group-D railway examinations to be taken in Urdu also, where it is the second language
>To start 53 new passenger trains