Railway Budget 2022: Higher budget allocation, New Generation Vande Bharat Trains, and More
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the budget for railways as a part of the Union Budget 2022-23. The Indian Railways budget received a higher fund allocation of Rs 1,40,367.13 crores compared to Rs 1,10,055 crores of the previous year's railway budget. The FM also announced new generation energy efficiency Vande Bharat trains, and development of other infrastructural projects in the coming years. Here are the key highlights of the railway budget 2022-23.
Higher Fund Allocation
This is the sixth budget in the series of combined budget that was first presented by Arun Jaitley after the Union Cabinet decided to merge Railway and General budget in 2016. The railway budget 2022 continued the trend of higher budget allocation, which is now at Rs 1,40,367.13 crores. The numbers however remain quite less from what was expected, considering the fact that the Indian Railways suffered a loss of Rs 26,338 crores in the last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the higher fund allocation was much needed for the Indian Railways to sustain and recover completely from the COVID pandemic’s impact.
PM Gati Shakti Masterplan
The union railway budget 2022 also focuses heavily on infrastructural reforms. The national transporter gets the PM Gati Shakti Masterplan from the Finance Minister. This includes huge capital spendings by the government in development and improvement of public transports, roads, highways, ports, and railways. In the next three years, the government plans development of 100 PM GatiShakti Cargo Terminals for multimodal logistics facilities.
400 New Vande Bharat Trains
Furthermore, as expected, the government will be introducing a new set of Vande Bharat trains to cover more major routes across the country. We are going to see 400 new generation energy efficient Vande Bharat trains in the next three years. Vande Bharat trains are the country’s own semi-high speed trains with a total of 16 modern coaches with self-propulsion technology, i.e; they do not require a separate engine to run. The new generation trains in this line are going to come up with advanced technology to enhance passenger journey comfort.
Extension of Rail Network under Kavach
The government is going to push its ambitious Atmanirbhar Bharat plan by bringing 2,000 kilometers of rail network under Kavach or Train Collision Avoidance System (TCAS), which is an indigenously developed high-tech and world-class technology for safety and capacity augmentation.
One Station One Product and support to small farmers and small enterprises
The Finance Minister also has something to promote local business and strengthen supply chains with the promotion of the ‘One Station One Product’ concept. The scheme will help in the promotion of the supply chain on the local products that will be showcased in each railway station. As per the budget presented by the Finance Minister, Indian Railways will introduce new products and services for SMEs and farmers. This was also posted by the Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw on his Twitter handle.
Higher Capital Investment
This year’s railway budget also includes a higher capital expenditure of Rs 2.38 lakh crore against Rs 2.15 lakh crores of the previous year. Rs 1 lakh crore out of the capital investment target of this year will come from Extra Budgetary Resources.
The Indian Railways projected its earnings to be around Rs 2.4 lakh crores, which is around Rs 38,000 crores more than the figures of the last year. The national transporter showed its hopes on the recovery of passenger business through which it expects to generate a revenue of Rs 58,500 crores, an increase of 31% from the last fiscal year. On the other hand, the Railways has performed better than its own estimates in the arena of freight business. In its revised estimates, the railways expects to conduct business of Rs 1.45 lakh crore against the estimate of Rs 1.37 lakh crore.