With a vision for NRP, Rlys gets 57% jump in allocation

With a vision for NRP, Rlys gets 57% jump in allocation

New Delhi: While the rail sector was severely impacted in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman focused on the National Rail Plan (NRP) for 2030 with a total allocation of Rs 1.15 lakh crore, a 57 per cent jump from last year's figure, during her Union Budget presentation for the ongoing financial year on Monday.

The finance minister further mentioned three new dedicated corridors for railways valued at Rs 1.78 lakh crore. In the last year, the rail minister Piyush Goyal had assigned the Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of Indian Limited (DFCCIL) to undertake and prepare the detailed project report (DPR) for new DFC.

The DFCCIL will submit the report for the East Coast corridor and North South Corridor by November this year while the DPR for the East-West Corridor will be submitted by December this year.

The three corridors — East-Coast Corridor of 1,115 km from Kharagpur to Vijaywada, East-West Corridor of 1,673 km from Bhusaval to Dankuni and 195 km Rajkharsawan to Andal and North-South corridor of 975 km from Vijaywada to Itarsi.

Railways had last year announced the National Rail Plan, 2024, as part of which it had sought to focus on business and infrastructure development to meet its objective of 2,024 million tonnes of freight loading capacity by 2024.

While, a total of Rs 2.15 lakh crore has been allocated for the railways' capital expenditure in this Union Budget, rail ministry presented the official data which shows that it spends 0.4 per cent in the Depreciation Reserve Fund, 24.5 per cent in the Pension Fund, 7.2 per cent for lease charges, 0.7 per cent for Development Fund and 42.7 per cent for salary and allowances.

While addressing the press persons on the same day, the newly appointed Rail Board chairman Suneet Sharma welcomed the Union Budget of FY 2021-22 and said, "This budget is a different budget altogether. It is a transformational budget, it is a future-ready budget for the railways, it is path-breaking budget."

He also added that the focus of this budget is on deliverance, commitment to delivery, time schedule, focus on customers, focus on technology, induction to provide better services to customers, better passenger and freight services.

"During the year, we have been able to make a significant change in our working. During this difficult time of COVID pandemic, we could transport essential commodities from one part of the country to others. We also took initiative in moving our migrants," CRB stressed.

Sharing the details he said, "Indian Railways has now highest ever total Plan CAPEX of Rs 2,15,058 crore this year with Rs 7,500 crore from internal resources, Rs 1,00,258 crore from extra-budgetary resources and Rs 1,07,100 crore for capital expenditure allocation given in the general budget."

"The Gross Budgetary allocation is Rs 37,050 crore higher than BE 2020-21, which is 53 per cent. Inspite of the Covid, this is a remarkable vindication of the progress being made being undertaken in infrastructure projects in railways," Sharma said.

The national projects of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and North Eastern region have been allocated highest ever outlay of Rs 12,985 crore.

The ministry data also shows that Rs 37,270 crore of gross budgetary support (GBS) has been allocated for investment in PSU/JV/SPVs, with allocation for DFCCIL of Rs 16,086 crore, National High-Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL) of Rs 14,000 crore and Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation Limited (KMRCL) of Rs 900 crore.

The CRB also added that the satellite-based tracking of trains with ISRO already operational on 6,500 trains. However, the Centre plans to bring down the logistics cost for industry to promote an Atmanirbhar Bharat.

In one side the government has budgeted nearly 16 per cent of its expenditure on capital assets, on the other side the growth in capital spending is largely geared towards core CAPEX projects, such as roads, rail, power projects etc.

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