The Union Railway Budget 2016-17 focused on capacity creation in the rail sector, with an increased outlay of about Rs. 1.21 lakh crore, and on completion of the ongoing projects rather than announcing new ones. Extending 2015’s measure, passenger fares remain the same.
Mr. Prabhu’s announcements included India’s first rail auto hub, boost to e-catering, connectivity to North-East and Wi-Fi in railway stations.
As it happened:
1:13 pm: Suresh Prabhu concludes his rail budget speech.
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu presents “Rail Budget 2016” in Lok Sabha. Our Correspondents Somesh Jha, Rahi Gaikwad give us the updates:
1:15 pm: No hike in railway fares.
1:10 pm: The companies owned by Railways to come under a holding company.
1:09 pm: Two dedicated freight corridors by 2019.
1:07 pm: I’m setting aside Rs. 50 crore for providing innovation grants to start-ups.
1:04 pm: Drones to be used for remote monitoring of ongoing projects.
1:03 pm: 33% sub-quota for women under all reserved categories.
1:02 pm: We’ll increase the advertising revenue by more than four times this year.
1:01 pm: We intend to give special focus to exploring advertising potentials at big stations.
1:01 pm: In-principal nod for MUTP projects received.
1:01 pm: India’s first rail auto hub to come up in Chennai.
1:01 pm: Special purpose vehicle for the Ahmedabad-Mumbai high speech corridor registered this month.
1:00 pm: A full-fledged market study on freight basket underway for revival of freight share.
12:59 pm: We will partner with the Govt. of TN for developing suburban network in Chennai through innovative financing methods.
12:59 pm: We will work with Karnataka State Government for suburban rails.
12:58 pm: Ring Railway to be redeveloped in partnership with the Delhi government.
12:57 pm: I propose to invite FM radio stations to provide train borne entertainment via PA systems:
12:56 pm: We intend to publish Rail Bandhu magazine in all regional languages.
12:56 pm: Elevated rail corridors from Churchgate to Virar and CST to Panvel on the cards.
12:54 pm: We’ll install GPS-based digital display in coaches for showing upcoming stations.
12:54 pm: We intend taking up on priority passenger amenities and beautification of stations.
12:53 pm: We have also revamped our internal audit system with view to bringing in efficiency in working practices.
12:52 pm: Coolies will be called ‘Sahayaks‘.
12:52 pm: Children’s menu, baby foods, baby boards to be made available for travelling mothers.
12:51 pm: We’re skilling of front-end staff employed through service providers.
12:51 pm: We’re planning to re-imagine design of coaches.
12:50 pm: IRCTC will make available local cuisine of choice, hygienic food.
12:50 pm: All new Railway stations to be built as per Accessible India guidelines.
12:48 pm: We’re working with insurance companies for optional insurance to passengers.
12:48 pm: We’ve introduced Sarthi Seva in Konkan Railways for help to senior citizens; will expand this service.
12:48 pm: The cleaning of toilets by requests through SMS.
12:47 pm: New policy of multi-purpose stalls at station to provide multiple services like milk and medicines.
12:46 pm: Local cuisine of choice will be made available to passengers.
12:46 pm: We are extending e-catering to all rail stations.
12:45 pm: IRCTC will begin to manage catering service in phased manner.
12:45 pm: We’ll include e-ticket facility for foreign debit and credit card holders.
12:44 pm: We’ll open cancellation facility through 139 helpline number.
12:44 pm: Journalists to get facility of e-booking of tickets on concessional passes.
12:43 pm: We are planning to introduce bar-coded tickets on pilot basis to tackle menace of ticketless travel.
12:43 pm: Overnight double-decker trains to be introduced on business travel routes.
12:42 pm: We have opened long awaited Broad Gauge Lumding-Silchar section in Assam, connecting Barak Valley with rest of country.
12:41 pm: Long distance superfast train Antyodaya Express for unreserved passsengers.
12:41 pm: Fully unreserved superfast trains to be introduced on dense traffic routes.
12:40 pm: We’ll introduce Deen Dayal coaches for long distance trains for unreserved passengers.
12:40 pm: A full-fledged Railway University soon.
12:38 pm: A single accident or loss of a single life causes me great sorrow and anguish.
12:38 pm: Safety record has become better. 20% less accidents this year than last year but a lot needs to be done.
12:37 pm: CCTV network has been provided at 311 railway stations.
12:37 pm: Walls of many stations have been converted to murals, also contributing to social awareness.
12:36 pm: Railways to increase the quota of lower berths for women and senior citizens.
12:36 pm: We will formulate a framework where net saving from electrification will be able to finance capital expenditure.
12:35 pm: It is proposed to undertake bidding for redevelopment of few large and medium stations.
12:34 pm: Enhanced capacity of e-ticketing system from 2000 tickets/min to 7,200/min.
12:33 pm: Wi-Fi at 100 railway stations this year and 400 next year.
12:33 pm: There is an increase in seat quota this year; 50% up for senior citizens.
12:32 pm: We introduced 1,780 ticket-vending machines.
12:31 pm: Swacch Bharat: 17,000 bio-toilets and additional toilets to be provided by end of this Fiscal Year.
12:31 pm: 1,600 km of electrification this year and 2,000 km proposed for the next year.
12:30 pm: More than 1 lakh telephone calls are made everyday to seek inputs from passengers.
12:29 pm: The common people have always been the focus of all our initiatives.
12:28 pm: We have received in-principle approval from 17 States to form joint ventures. Cabinet decision to allow JVs with States for rail projects opens new vistas for ownership in railway sector.
12:27 pm: North-East India, especially Mizoram and Manipur, to be connected through broad gauge soon.
12:27 pm: We will commission 2,800 km of new tracks in next year.
12:24 pm: Social Media has been used to bring in transparency.
12:24 pm: We have started recruitment process online for Railways to bring 100% transperancy.
12:23 pm: We have finalised bids for setting up 2 locomotive factories. New factories to be set up with an order book of Rs. 40,000 crore.
12:22 pm: Indian Railways to surpass ambitious target of commissioning 2500 kms of broad gauge lines, almost 30% higher than last year.
12:22 pm: Every Rupee in investment in Railways has the capacity to increase economy wide output of Rs. 5.
12:21 pm: New freight corridors announced: Delhi-Chennai, Kharagpur-Mumbai, Kharagpur-Vijayawada.
12:20 pm: LIC has agreed invest Rs. 1.5 lakh crore over 5 years on extremely favourable terms.
12:20 pm: Dedicated freight corridor project gaining momentum.
12:19 pm: We are poised to commission broad gauge lines at the rate of 7 km per day against 4.5 km over last five years.
12:18 pm: We will generate 9 crore man-days employment by 2017-18 and 14 crore man-days by 2018-19.
12:17 pm: By 2020, we’ll have time-tabled freight trains.
12:16 pm: New way of funding projects introduced using institutional financing.
12:16 pm: Happy to announce action has been initiated on 139 Budget announcements last year.
12:16 pm: Elimination of unmanned level crossings a priority. By 2020, eliminiate all unmanned level crossing.
12:16 pm: We hope to generate revenues of order of Rs.1,84,820 cr next year, 10.1% higher than revised target of current year.
12:14 pm: The vision is Railways must provide people rail system they can be proud of.
12:13 pm: In 2016-17, the capital plan will be Rs. 1,21,000 crore.
12:13 pm: A saving of Rs. 8,720 crore for Budget estimates of last year will be effected this year.
12:13 pm: Co-operation, collaboration and communication, are the hallmarks of Indian Railways’s journey forward.
12:13 pm: We’ll win back our share in transportation sector. Every asset to be optimally monetised.
12:12 pm: For year 2016-17 we expect the operating ratio of 92%. What is operating ratio?
It is a financial ratio used for large industries to define operating expenses as a percentage of revenue.
12:10 pm: We are facing two headwinds: tepid growth of our economy’s core sectors, increased productivity bonus payouts.
12:09 pm: The Railways stood test of time because of its employees.
12:08 pm: Core objective is to become an engine of employment generation and economic growth at national level.
12:07 pm: This budget will document a journey of transformation and journey of nation.
12:06 pm: This Budget owes its inspiration to vision of PM Modi who said: “My vision is to make railways backbone of India’s progress & economic development.”
11:42 am: Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu to present his second Rail Budget shortly.
11:40 am: Meanwhile, rail stocks see a mixed trend ahead of the Budget.
Stone India went up 5.51 per cent and Titagarh Wagons gained 2.62 per cent on BSE. In contrast, shares of Hind Rectifiers plunged 6.22 per cent and Kalindee Rail Nirman Engineers fell 4.59 per cent while Kernex Microsystems was down 4.49 per cent and Texmaco Rail & Engineering 2.89 per cent.More…
11:12 am: Union Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu reaches Rail Bhawan.
Union Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu, along with MoS Manoj Sinha, at Rail Bhawan. Photo: V. Sudershan
11:11 am: Hope we’ll be successful in addressing the needs and aspirations of people of country, says Suresh Prabhu
11:04 am: Rail Budget hs been prepared keeping in view aspirations, needs and concerns of people the of nation: Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu.
11:05 am: Union Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu leaves from his residence for Rail Bhawan in Delhi.
10:54 am: Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu: “It’ll be a good Budget and in benefit of the nation.”
10:37 am: The Railways Minister may offer more culinary options for passengers in his Rail Budget today, so people may enjoy a variety of local cuisines during their train journeys.
The Indian Railways is also considering a greater focus on tie-ups with local vendors for offering such a choice to travellers, as part of an attempt to bolster its e-catering business. More…
10:31 am: Budget will be a tough task, Railway Board veterans say.
“Unfortunately, the performance of railways has not kept pace with what has been planned. The total earnings – freight and passengers – have dropped dismally. I understand the total gap is about Rs. 17,000 crore. We also have the burden of the 7th Pay Commission of Rs.32,000 crore,” Mr K.C. Jena, who served as Railway Board Chairman between 2007-2009, said at a discussion on the Railway Budget organised by Assocham. More…
10:14 am: Mangaluru region doesn’t expect much from Railway Budget.
Though the demand for creation of a separate Railway Division in Mangaluru or at least bringing the Mangaluru Region either under South Western Railway or Konkan Railway is still in vogue, people do not have many hopes on the demand as Mr. Prabhu is concentrating on downsizing the hierarchy in the Railways. More…
10:07 am: Stocks of companies related to the Railways, such as Titagarh Wagon and BEML edge up by 0.85 per cent and 0.39 per cent, respectively, to Rs. 124.80 and Rs. 1,021.95. More…
9:34 am: Hopes pinned on new trains to south Kerala
North Kerala, especially Kozhikode, has once again pinned its hopes on the Railway Budget. Last year, the budget had not made any increase in the fares but the Railways revised tariff at periodic intervals, aimed at increasing the earnings. No new trains had been introduced in the sector as well in the fiscal.
There are demands to start new trains: Chennai-Mangalore-Goa, Kannur-Yeshwantpur, Chennai-Mangalore and Kozhikode-Hyderabad and extend the Kozhikode-Thrissur passenger train to Guruvayur. More…
9:31 am: Bengaluru has urgent needs but low expectations.
Experts say immediate steps to deal with the stress on the city railway station are also just as important. Delay in the development of a third coaching terminal at Baiyappanahalli, announced by D.V. Sadananda Gowda in 2014, has led to pressure on the City Railway Station which leaves officials with little room to operate new trains.
The city terminal handles upwards of 130 trains and Yesvantpur more than 88 trains. More…
9:29 am: Chennai commuters want faster completion of projects.
Commuters are hoping for a congestion-free travel by introducing 12-car rakes, increasing services during non-peak hours, installing closed circuit television cameras and providing better sanitation facilities in suburban railway stations. More…
9:28 am: People of north Andhra region are awaiting official announcement on formation of new zone. More…
9:26 am: Will today’s Railway Budget focus on existing projects in Mysuru region?
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has already cleared the track doubling between Chikjajur and Hubbali in the Mysuru Division which is a key trunk route for the State and would be completed within 4 years at an estimated cost of nearly Rs.1,140 crore and hence people of Mysuru region need not be disappointed in case nothing major is announced for the division. More…
9:19 am: Union Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu may offer more culinary options for passengers in his Rail Budget to be presented on Thursday, so people may enjoy a variety of local cuisines during their train journeys.
The copies of Rail Budget 2016 are brought to Parliament. Photo: R.V. Moorthy
9:12 am: The Rail Budget will be the budget of transformation of Indian Railways, says MoS Railways Manoj Sinha.