New Delhi | Jagran Business Desk: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in the Union Budget 2020-21 presented on Saturday has announced a budgetary allocation of Rs 70,000 crore and the highest-ever outlay for capital expenditure amounting to Rs 1.61 lakh crore for the Indian Railways. 

The capital expenditure of Rs 1.61 crore is 2.99 per cent higher than revised estimate of 2019-20. Last year, the outlay for the railways was Rs 1.60 lakh crore while the Budget allocation was Rs 65,837 crore.

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In the union budget, it was announced that Rs 12,000 crore has been allocated for construction of new lines, Rs 2,250 crore for gauge conversion, Rs 700 crore for doubling, Rs 5,786.97 crore for rolling stock and Rs 1,650 crore for signalling and telecom.

The allocation for rail passenger comfort for this fiscal is Rs 2,725.63 crore from Rs 1,881.39 crore in the revised Budget presented in July 2019. In the previously fiscal, budgetary allocation for railway passenger amenities was Rs 3,422.57 crore.

However, what remains a major headache for the Indian Railways would be its revenue expenditure which includes an estimated salary payout of Rs 92,993.07 crore, about Rs 6,000 crore more than last year.

The railways has kept a target of commissioning new new lines, gauge conversions and the doubling of board guage sections in 2020-21 to 3,750 kms against 3,150 kms in 2019-20The officials said that the in 2020-21, electrification of 6,000 route kms has been targeted.

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Meanwhile, FM Sitharaman has said that the Railways will set up a Kisan Rail through public-private partnership model.

"Indian Railways will set up Kisan Rail through PPP arrangement, for transportation of perishable goods. Comprehensive measures for 100 water-stressed districts being proposed in this budget," she added. 

(with IANS, ANI inputs)

Posted By: James Kuanal