Shri Lalu Prasad
the Railway Budget 2005-06
Mr. Speaker Sir, I rise to
present the Budget Estimates for 2005-06 for the Indian Railways. I am
presenting this budget at a point in time when the Indian economy reflects a
vibrant growth. The Tenth Plan
envisages an economic growth of eight per cent. This requires significant investment in infrastructure, of which
railways are important and integral part, through larger public and private
investment. This also needs greater
efficiency in these sectors and sound fiscal management for financial
Indian Railways have a critical role in ensuring the
continued economic development of the country. We have drawn up an ambitious
plan for meeting the increasing and emerging demands of the economy through
the provision of world-class infrastructure. We will work not only towards
streamlining the passenger services further and ensuring a palpable improvement
in the quality of passenger services but also initiate
a gamut of commercial, operational and
investment – oriented initiatives in the freight sector thereby doing everything
possible to improve Railways’ share in the transport sector. I shall outline
these policy decisions in the course of my speech.
PHYSICAL AND FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE IN 2004-05
Sir, when I presented the first
railway budget of the United Progressive Alliance Government, the so called
intelligentsia had criticized it as a populist one since I had not increased
railway fares and freight. I have immense pleasure in reporting to this August
House that with the untiring efforts of lakhs of railway employees, the physical
as well as financial performance of Railways in the first nine months of the
current financial year has been excellent, thereby belying this criticism.
On the freight front Indian Railways have transported 438.36 million tonnes
which is 31.21 million tonnes more than the traffic lifted during the corresponding
period of the last year. This implies a growth of 7.67 per cent over last
year. Keeping this trend in mind, the revised target for loading has been
raised from 580 million tonnes to 600 million tonnes and the revised freight
earnings have also been increased from Rs 28,745 cr. to Rs 30,450 cr. For
many decades the railways share of the freight market has been progressively
reducing. Sir, it is a matter of pride for every railwayperson that this year,
by registering a freight growth that surpasses the growth of economy, not
only have the railways regained some market share, but will also be surpassing
the Tenth Plan target of 396 billion tonne kilometres of the terminal year
2006-07 in this year itself, that is two years ahead of target. Sir, the current
year’s expected incremental freight loading of 43 mt is the highest achieved
so far. Originating passenger traffic
has also registered a growth of around six percent as compared to the budget
target of 3%. The total earnings to end of December 04, which stand at Rs.33,900
cr., represent an 8.3 percent growth over the last year as against a growth
of 4.1% registered in the previous financial year. The Revised Estimates have
been framed keeping this trend in mind. Total earnings of Revised Estimates
at Rs 46,635 cr are Rs 1,838 cr higher as compared to Budget Estimates.
of the Ministry of Railways have also resulted in a two-fold increase in realisation
of outstanding dues over the previous year. With the anticipated clearance of Rs 150 cr,
the budgeted gross traffic receipts of Rs 44,902 cr will increase to Rs 46,785
The Ordinary Working Expenses are likely to increase
by Rs 400 cr., mainly due to the steep post budgetary increase in fuel prices
and the Revised Estimates for these are placed at Rs. 33,260 cr as against
Rs. 32,860 cr in the Budget Estimates.
While the gross traffic receipts are anticipated to
increase by Rs. 1883 cr over the Budget Estimates, the working expenses are
expected to grow by only Rs. 400 cr, resulting in a significant increase in
the internal generation during the current fiscal.
With this the ratio of the ordinary working expenses and pension to
the gross traffic receipts, i.e., “Working Ratio”,
is expected to be around 85%.
Despite the appropriation to Depreciation Reserve Fund being Rs. 395 cr higher
than budgeted, the Operating Ratio is expected to be 91.2% against the budgeted
Hon’ble members have been expressing concern about depleting
balances in the Railway funds. It
is a matter of satisfaction that despite withdrawals in the current year being
higher compared to previous years, the fund balances are expected to close
with a healthy figure of Rs 6963 cr.
In comparison with earlier years our physical and financial
performance has been praiseworthy. However, we will not remain content with
hai aur bhi upar, hai uchaiana pukartin
apar kshmtayein,aashaein tumhe nihartin”
policy initiatives which I shall spell out in the course of my speech, have
been taken with a view to ensuring that the economy and populace are able
to reap the full benefits of Railways’ vast potential.
Sir, policy decisions on several commercial, operating
and investment related aspects have been taken with a view to bringing about
an increase in the average speed of freight trains and reduction of detention
to rolling stock at terminals which I would like to mention briefly.
Strategy to improve wagon availability and wagon utilization
Sir, despite no significant augmentation in the
number of wagons last year, considerable increase in loading has been possible
due to improvements in the wagon turn round. The latter is expected to improve
from seven last year to about six in year 2004-05. By taking up measures for
improvements in this area on a war footing it is expected to bring the wagon
turn round down to five days in the near future.
The Preferential Tariff Schedule for supply of wagons has been
rationalised and simplified. Highest priority “A” will be accorded to the
Military traffic for Defence movement. Priority “B” shall be accorded to the
emergency relief material for natural calamities and traffic sponsored by
the Central Government agencies. Approved programmed traffic shall be accorded
“C” priority. All other commodities will be moved under priority “D”. In every
category a higher priority within the same class of priority shall be accorded
to the traffic offered by the customers adopting Engine-on-Load scheme, Wagon
Investment Scheme or full rake sidings with mechanized round-the-clock working.
In order to ensure un-interrupted movement of goods trains
and to have better turn round of wagons, it is proposed to electrify diesel
sidings located on electrified sections at Railways’ cost, where heavy detentions
occur and a prescribed number of rakes is handled per month.
As the House is aware, “Engine-on-Load” (EOL) scheme, was announced
in the last Budget, wherein the train engine waits during loading and unloading
operations to ensure faster release and better availability of wagons.
After consultation with customers, the terms and conditions have been
further liberalized. The permissible free time for loading is being increased
from three hours to four hours for bulk commodities and from five hours to
six hours for bagged consignments. It has also been decided to give a cash
incentive by way of encashment of the credit hours available at the end of
every quarter to be adjusted as a rebate in the freight payable in the following
quarter. It has been decided that higher preference, within the same class
of priority, will be accorded in supply of rakes to the EOL customers. The
EOL scheme is also being extended to selected goods sheds and for customers
not having their own private sidings.
Terminal Incentive Scheme
It is proposed to introduce a cash incentive scheme for such
freight customers who help the railways in reducing the terminal detention
through investments in infrastructure for mechanized loading and unloading,
round-the-clock working and improvements in yard lay out in their sidings. The
“Terminal Incentive Scheme” shall be formulated in consultation with industry
and after getting all related aspects examined by a professional agency.
To bring about a qualitative improvement in freight
train examination and wagons maintenance practices, infrastructural facilities
will be upgraded at freight train examination centres, particularly those for
close circuit rakes. In the coming year 20 such examination centres will be
upgraded. With this, detentions during examination of freight trains will be
reduced, quality of train examinations will be improved and safety will be
enhanced. Substantially longer intervals will be provided between two
successive train examinations by providing extended run of freight trains after
every examination and for most close circuit rakes there will be no need for
re-examination upto 6000 kms.
It is proposed to rationalise the rules relating to
demurrage and wharfage and the time given for loading and unloading.
Accordingly, it has been decided that all goods sheds and sidings shall have
uniform working hours and business hours. Customers are being encouraged to
undertake loading and unloading operations through mechanized handling
equipment and adopt round-the-clock working.
As an incentive, only fifty percent of the actual time taken for loading
or unloading operation from 22.00 hours to 06.00 hours will be reckoned for
calculation of free time for the purpose of demurrage.
Unloading from wagons is sometimes held up due to delayed
removal of consignments from an earlier rake lying on the ground. In order to
encourage expeditious removal of the goods, it has been decided that a grace
period of two hours beyond the prescribed free time for unloading of wagons
shall be permitted if the entire consignment from the rake is removed from the
goods sheds within the extended free time.
Electronic Payment Gateway
I am happy to advise that the pilot project for setting up
Electronic Payment Gateway for freight, which I had proposed during the last
Railway Budget, has been implemented for Badarpur Thermal Power Station in
January’ 2005 and a clearance of Rs. 110 crores has been effected from their
outstanding dues. This facility will be extended to all major customers during
the coming years, who opt for the same.
Public - Private Partnership
Several public-private partnership initiatives are being
taken to garner resources through non-traditional methods for the modernization
and development of the railways and to provide enhanced facilities for users.
Prominent amongst these are private sidings, commercial utilization of surplus
railway land through construction of modern railway stations with provision of
additional passenger amenities and
logistics parks under the aegis of Rail Land Development Authority,
initiatives related to parcel, utilization of optic fibre cable network of
RailTel, computerized train enquiry system and wagon investment scheme, which
will be covered in the course of my speech.
In order to enhance the rail share in transportation, it is
necessary that freight customers are encouraged to develop their private
sidings. It is proposed that the Railways shall share the cost of a new railway
siding if the industry comes up with a long-term commitment of traffic; say for
10 years or more. Under this arrangement, the cost of the removable super
structure including the track, sleepers, fastening etc. and the overhead
electric equipment shall be borne by the railways. The capital cost of all
traffic facilities such as ‘Y’ connection, additional lines at the serving
station, crossing stations, patch doubling of the section etc. shall be fully
borne by the railways. The siding owners will be required to bear the cost of
the land, earthwork and the sub structure of the track.
It has further been decided that in all private
sidings other than Engine on load only, barring the cost of one commercial
staff per shift, the Railways would bear the cost of all other Railway
staff. The cost of all staff at engine
on load sidings will be borne by the Railways.
Land Development Authority (RLDA)
To ensure the commercial utilisation of surplus
railway land and air space I had, during the last Parliament session, presented
a Railway (Amendment) Bill, 2004 in the Rajya Sabha, for setting up of
RLDA. This authority will, through
public-private participation, develop
surplus land adjoining railway stations and goods sheds for constructing
warehouses and logistics parks. It
would also generate additional resources for the development of railways. Sir, in the coming years we propose, with
the help of this Authority, to develop metro stations into world class modern
stations and extend passenger amenities through construction of food plazas,
shopping malls, etc. on vacant land. In
the year 2005-06, all efforts will be made to complete the process relating to
sanction of an action plan for converting New Delhi Railway Station into such a
modern world class station.
Indian Railways have entered into a Memorandum of
Understanding with Central Warehousing Corporation (CWC) who will develop
integrated warehouse complexes at 22 locations. A scheme for development of integrated warehouse complex by
private sector has also been approved with a view to encourage public-private
partnerships as per this model. It will provide a single window service to the
customers for providing value added service of forwarding, handling,
warehousing and road bridging.
Corporation of India Limited
Sir, the optic fibre network of RailTel Corporation
has now grown to 26,000 route kilometres (rkms) and is likely to reach 40,000
rkms by 2008. During the current
financial year RailTel has completed connectivity of four metros and four mini
metros. This apart, the present network
already provides connectivity to 180 important cities and 1750 other railway
stations. The telecommunication and
safety requirements of railways are being satisfactorily met by this
network. Once the ongoing process of
upgrading the capacity of their OFC network from STM-4 to STM-16 over 23,000
rkms is completed in June 2005, RailTel’s revenue earning capability will
increase beyond expectations. RailTel
will make every effort to exploit this vast network through public private partnership
by means of joint venture, either through leasing or channel partner and
provide various broadband services such as internet, voice telephony on
internet, cable TV, national long distance telephony in urban as well as rural
With the globalization of the Indian economy and spurt in
imports and exports, the container traffic is expected to grow
exponentially. It has been assessed
that the growth will be of the order of 15%.
In order to meet the growing demand for container trains, organizations
other than Container Corporation of India will also be considered for movement
of container traffic.
Capacity constraints on the existing
routes necessitate introduction of double stack container freight trains. It is proposed to introduce double stack
container trains during the next two years on one of the identified routes
connecting North India with Gujarat ports, based on
BUSINESS - INITIATIVES
In order to provide value added services for transportation
of parcels, railways have been leasing the parcel space in the front SLR
coaches of passenger carrying trains by inviting bids through open tenders. It
is proposed to introduce additional leasing of one of the two compartments in
the rear SLR coaches of certain nominated Mail/Express trains also to attract
more traffic. It is also proposed to lease out the vacant compartment of guard
in the front SLR coach to courier services for carriage of small packages.
Currently the parcel space in SLRs of many Mail/Express and
passenger trains is underutilized and in some trains it is even below fifty
percent. In order to attract traffic in such trains short-term lease for a
period of one year shall be introduced. The reserve price for such leasing
shall also be lower, keeping in view the past utilization of parcel space by
such trains. Leasing of parcel space by ordinary passenger trains shall also be
permitted for intermediate stations, if there is adequate demand between
different pairs of stations covered by the train.
PASSENGER BUSINESS –
INITIATIVES AND AMENITIES
In the ensuing year I propose a number of steps for
providing new, modern and improved facilities to the passengers. Some of these are detailed below:
Computerized Train Enquiry
Sir, passengers often complain that telephone lines
pertaining to railway enquiry remain always busy. An attempt has, therefore, been made to expand its reach up to
village level by modernizing the train enquiry system and opening call centres
at Patna. Under this initiative, people
from any corner of Bihar can enquire about arrival and departure of trains,
reservation status, fare, concessions, etc., by dialling a universal telephone
number 139 at local call rates. To
ensure that the lines do not remain busy, depending upon the need, 200 to 500
lines are used in a call centre so that a large number of people can access the
facility of enquiry simultaneously.
Considering the unprecedented success of this initiative, I am happy to
inform the House that I have decided to extend this facility throughout the
country by the end of 2005-06 so that not only urban but rural people are also
able to get the desired information instantly by dialling a universal number
139 at local call rates.
clock Internet booking.
The facility of booking tickets through Internet,
which was started for cell-phones in the current year will soon be available on
landline phones also. Presently booking
of rail tickets on the Internet is restricted from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. With effect from 15th March 2005
this facility will be available from 4.00 a.m. to 11.30 p.m. without a break.
status in advance
At present, waitlisted passengers do not know their
status till the preparation of chart, which is normally done only about four
hours before train departure. This time
is considered too short for a person to finalise his journey plans. Therefore, continuous updation of the
waiting list will now be made possible through suitable modifications in the
passenger reservation system.
vacant berth position
Along with the reservation chart, it is proposed to
display vacancy position charts in all reserved coaches and on the platform so
that waitlisted passengers can have information about vacant berths in various
legs of journeys which will further enable transparency in their allotment.
Wherever possible, this data would be linked to the current booking counters,
so that vacant berths can be released.
of IT for customer satisfaction
Sir, it is proposed to launch a pilot scheme for
Mumbai suburban passengers to renew their season tickets on Internet and have
it home-delivered on the lines of Internet ticketing for reserved
category. This will provide relief for
a large number of season ticket holders and ease congestion at the booking
The Passenger Reservation System (PRS) has already
been installed at 1,163 locations all over the country. Another 152 locations have been sanctioned
and are at various stages of completion.
While the majority of District Headquarters have been provided with PRS
facilities, it is proposed to cover the remaining District Headquarters, 100 in
number, with these facilities within the next two years. 45 such locations will be taken up in
2005-06 subject to provision of space by the district authorities as per extant
The Unreserved Ticketing System (UTS) has already
been provided at 108 locations in 14 Zonal Railways. A total of 120 locations are likely to be covered by the end of
the financial year. It will be further
expanded by over 300 locations during the year 2005-06.
STEPS ORIENTED TOWARDS MIS
Indian Railways will move towards greater deployment
of information technology so as to improve the process of planning, monitoring
and decision making, reduce operating expense through a more efficient
utilisation of rolling stock and to enhance the public image of the
railways. I would like to briefly
mention some of the new initiatives being taken.
It is proposed to develop a Management Information System
through a data warehouse developed from the Unreserved Ticketing System (UTS),
Passenger Reservation System (PRS), and Freight Operations Information System
(FOIS) on the Indian Railways. The proposed data warehouse will significantly
boost the efficiency and effectiveness of the planning, control and monitoring
At present control over movement of
trains is carried out through manual charting by the staff in most of the
divisional control offices.
Computerization of control charting will be taken up on Indian Railways
during 2005-06. This will not only
enable charting to be carried out with greater ease but will also result in
more effective control over movement.
Simultaneously, useful information on real time basis shall be made
available to passengers on line through the NTES and call centres. The Control Charting system would be
implemented on 15 divisions in the coming year.
A computerized Crew Management System is already
running in a few divisions on different railways. On the basis of the experience gained from these, it is proposed
to develop and implement a unified crew management system. This system will
streamline the management of train crews, optimising manning of trains, and
providing running staff with rational working hours.
COIS Punctuality Module is already available at most
of the Divisional and Zonal Headquarters i.e. 80 locations approximately. The timetable module of COIS is under
development and a central timetable date base has been built up. This will be web-enabled during the year
During the year 2005-06, computerization of Railway
Claims Tribunals, Goods Refund Offices and Subsidiary Claim Offices will be
undertaken on similar lines as those of Claim Offices. Computerisation of goods refund offices will
provide facility of online registration of goods refund cases and of checking
the status of these cases from the Railways.
It is anticipated that the web-enabled Claims Management System would
help in reducing the average time taken for claim settlement.
RAILWAY MODERNISATION PLAN (IRMP)
Sir, with above new
initiatives and by formulating an Integrated Railway Modernization Plan we have
a dream of making the Indian Railways as the best Railway system in the world.
“Sirf hungama khara karna mera maksad nahin,
Meri koshish hai ki ye surat badalni chahiye”
With a view to develop Indian Railways as a world
class railway, an Integrated Railways Modernisation Plan spanning five years
upto 2010 has been formulated. Under this plan, in the passenger segment, running
of 150 kmph trains on New Delhi- Howrah and New Delhi-Chennai routes is
envisaged. The freight business segment envisages running of freight trains at
100 kmph on the golden quadrilateral and its diagonals, introduction of higher
axle load, double stack containers and Roll-on-Roll-Off wagons on the
identified routes, etc.
The tare weight of the wagons currently being used
limits the freight loading of the Railways.
With a view to increasing the loading capacity of each wagon by four
tonnes, it is proposed to introduce lightweight, corrosion resistant aluminium
wagons during the period of the modernisation plan.
Other modernisation initiatives also include track
modernisation and its maintenance practices, modernisation of Bridge Management
System, signalling and telecommunication system, mechanical and electrical
system and the Disaster Management System.
The total expenditure envisaged
for execution of the identified items in the IRMP is about Rs. 24,000 crore.
The existing Accounting system on Indian Railways is
time tested and provides a reasonable base for capture of data and production
of financial statements in accordance with reporting requirements of
Government. However, recent trends
witnessed worldwide lay stress on uniform accounting standards and deployment of information technology
assisted accounting system with greater transparency in financial reporting of
the organization. The Railways have accordingly set in motion an Accounting
Reforms process to meet the emerging business needs.
In the Railway accounting
system certain accounting heads are maintained to record transactions on
accrual basis so as to establish a link between commercial accounts and
government accounts. Also, revenue and
capital expenses are classified under different heads. However, the total amount of lease charges
paid to Indian Railway Finance Corporation for rolling stock leased by it is
treated as a revenue expenditure whereas this amount includes both interest and
principal repayment components, which are in the nature of revenue and capital
expenditure, respectively. Therefore,
it is proposed to modify this accounting system, following due procedures, in
such a way that the true nature of such transactions and contribution of such
assets to railway revenues can be ascertained and the accounting is
in line with the generally accepted
and standard accounting practices followed for lease finance.
Besides, there is a need to go into the capital structure of
the Railways particularly with reference to the contribution to Depreciation
Reserve Fund on a scientific basis, identification of unproductive and
redundant capital assets and the need for a policy of amortization. I have,
therefore, directed the Ministry to draw up a suitable action plan so as to
rationalize the capital structure of the Indian Railways.
In the context of the ongoing
accounting reforms and the contemplated capital restructuring initiatives, it
is proposed to establish a Chair for studies in railway finance at one of the
Indian Institutes of Management. This
will be a fitting commemoration of the platinum jubilee celebrations of the
Indian Railway Accounts Service.
Assessment of Pension Liability on Indian Railways
Sir, Indian Railways have nearly 12 lakh pensioners, spread all
over India, with expenditure on pension touching Rs. 7,000 cr per annum.
Liability on this account is increasing progressively. The appropriation to Pension Fund, which has
been created for meeting pension requirements, should ideally be made on the basis of actuarial
assessment. The last such assessment
for the Central Government employees including Railways took place in
1974. It is proposed to have an
actuarial assessment done for railway pensioners to assess the future liability
on account of pensionary charges on
railways. This will help in managing
this liability in a better way. Accordingly, it is proposed to get this study
done through a professional agency.
Transparency in Purchase and Sale
Sir, while presenting the last year’s Railway Budget I had
announced that transparency would be brought in the auction of scrap by curbing
the activities of mafia elements effectively.
Every year the Railways make purchases of material worth thousands of
crores of rupees. In certain cases the
material cannot be supplied to the Railways at fair prices for want of limited
number of approved suppliers. There
have been complaints of cartel formation in the recent years, specially in
tenders of concrete sleepers.
Therefore, it has now been decided that in all such cases where Railways
are not able to procure stores at fair prices for want of the adequate number
of suppliers, efforts would be made to develop the new vendors in the public or
private sector in order to infuse healthy competition amongst them. It has also been decided that the value of
the tender will be determined on the basis of total cost of the supply which
will be inclusive of local taxes etc. and it will be kept low to the extent
PERFORMANCE AND INITIATIVES
As a result of sustained and
intensified efforts, the number of consequential train accidents has come down
from 415 in 2001-2002, 351 in 2002-2003, and 325 in 2003-2004. During the
period April to December 2004 it is 175 (provisional) as compared to 260 during
the corresponding period of last year, reflecting a reduction of about 33%.
Special Railway Safety Fund
Considerable progress has been made in the execution
of works sanctioned under Special Railway Safety Fund (SRSF). Rs. 6504 cr have already been spent upto
31.03.04 and Rs. 3645 cr are likely to be spent during the current financial
year making a total of Rs. 10,149 cr.
As regards physical progress, 12138 kilometres of track are likely to be
renewed up to 31.3.2005 out of the total target of 16,538 kilometres. Out of around 2700 bridges to be
rehabilitated/rebuilt from SRSF, 1306 were completed by 31.03.04. In the current year, 411 bridges would be
rehabilitated/rebuilt, as targeted. The work of replacement of over-aged
signalling systems with modern systems has been completed at 567 stations. The work is in progress at 881 other
stations. Interlocking at level
crossings with signals is likely to be completed at 300 gates during 2004-05,
bringing the total of inter-locked level crossings to 7395 out of 16741 manned
level crossings. Track-circuiting works
are sanctioned for 5300 locations. Out
of these, work has been completed at 2277 locations upto January 2005.
Rolling Stock: To enable quick
response for both rescue and restoration, medical relief trains and trains
carrying equipment for restoration have been upgraded for operation at 100
kmph. To facilitate training on
improved driving techniques for motormen resulting in better safety
performance, it is proposed to provide three simulators for EMU/MEMU Sheds. A pilot project for development of “Track Side Bogie
Monitoring System” is proposed to be launched.
This system uses wayside detectors to monitor performance of bogies
including bearing, which relay warning signals to the nodal stations about
abnormal conditions, enabling advance action to be taken before the vehicle
Track: A modern Rail Profile Measuring and
Analysis System (RPMS), a laser based contact-less rail measuring device has
been commissioned recently on Indian Railways and regular recording of rail features has been started. Apart from this a state of the art, modern
Track Recording Car with the additional features has been procured and is
likely to be commissioned by March’05.
These initiatives will give better monitoring of track geometry for
maintenance planning to provide a safer travel and better comfort to the
Signalling and Telecommunication: The first ACD worked section on Indian
Railways, designed to prevent collisions, especially at high speeds is likely
to be ready by March 2005 on Northeast Frontier Railway. GSM-R based Mobile
Train Radio Communication (MTRC) work is in progress over 2415 RKMs. These will
prove to be a useful telecommunication and safety aid between various
operational and maintenance staff. Train Protection and Warning system, to
prevent Signal Passed at Danger (SPAD) by drivers shall be introduced on 280
track kms on certain sections of North Central and Southern Railways during the
With effect from 1st July 2004 Railway Protection
Force (RPF) has been entrusted with the responsibilities for better protection
of passengers and passenger areas, in addition to railway property, and made
responsible for minor offences which affect the passengers and the railway
system. On an average 1262 train escort
parties are being deployed by RPF daily to supplement the efforts of the GRP
and also supplement security in many stations. For taking up the new challenges
and additional responsibilities of passenger security, recruitment drive to
fill up vacancies in RPF and modernization programme of RPF are in full
swing. With these steps, the security
to passengers and their belongings is likely to improve considerably.
Sir, in my last budget speech I had announced that
unemployed youth attending interviews for selection to Central Government jobs
would be given full concession in second class on production of a certified
copy of call letter and application.
This year I propose to extend the same concession in second class to unemployed youth appearing for interviews
of State Governments jobs also.
It is proposed to give 50% concession in Second Class
fares to farmers and milk producers for travel to institutes of national level
in other parts of the country for the purpose of training/learning better
agricultural practices and dairy farming.
It is proposed to provide 75% concession in Second
Class fares to Government rural school students, once in a year, for study tour.
It is proposed to give 75% concession in Second Class
fares to girls from rural areas studying in Government schools for the purpose
of attending national level entrance examination for medical, engineering and
other professional courses in colleges.
Railways have been carrying relief material for the
people affected by the natural calamities/disasters. It is proposed that in notified cases of National
Calamities/Disasters, the transportation of the relief material will be carried
on priority and free of cost. It is
also proposed that Railways will provide free Second Class transportation to
persons stranded in such calamities for their evacuation.
It is proposed that the dead bodies of patients who
die while undergoing treatment in major Government hospitals will be carried on
priority basis, to the nearest rail-head connecting their home town at 50%
concession of the normal tariff rates.
Recruitment for Group D posts by field units
Sir, in my last budget speech I had announced that
the recruitment for RPF posts by the Railway Recruitment Boards would be
discontinued and the previous practice of filling up the vacancies directly by
the field units would be restored. The
results have been satisfactory and there has been an improvement in the process
of filling up of vacancies. Therefore,
in order to tackle the problem of filling up of Group ‘D’ vacancies, the
recruitment to Group ‘D’ posts will henceforth be made by the field units, as
per earlier practice and not by the RRBs.
Sir, I am glad to inform this August House that the
prescribed percentage of representation of the Scheduled Castes has been
attained in all the groups of Railway services. In order to ensure the appropriate representation of the
Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Castes in all the groups of Railway
services, special efforts are being made for running special drives.
Sir, in the new catering policy provision of 25% reservation
in award of licences of small catering units at ‘A’, ‘B’ and ‘C’ category
stations and 49.5% reservation at other categories of stations have been made
for SC, ST, OBCs, Minorities, war widows and widows of railway employees,
freedom fighters and other weaker sections of the society. These categories
have been kept out of tendering process in allotment of licences.
Sir, last year, I had announced the elimination of the
system of sole selling rights over bookstalls all over Indian Railway. I have
pleasure informing the House that a reservation of 25% has been made for the
people of above mentioned weaker sections of society in the new bookstall
Corporate Welfare Plan
Railways propose to
prepare a Corporate Welfare Plan to pay special attention towards maintenance
and improvement of staff quarters with particular emphasis on substandard
quarters lacking basic amenities. For
this purpose a ten year plan will be formulated in consultation with the staff
Achievements of Railways in Sports
In the field of sports, the performance of Indian Railways
during the year 2004-05 has been outstanding both at National and International
levels. Indian Railways Chess team won the Gold Medal in the World Railway USIC
Chess Championship held at Piestany (Slovakia) in November, 2004. During the
current year Ms. Rachel Thomas, Indian Railway Skydiver has been honoured with
prestigious Padmashri Award for adventurous sport. Five Railway sportspersons have been honoured with Arjun Award
for their sports achievements and at the National level, Indian Railways
sportspersons won 16 National titles in different games.
Indian Railways with a vast network covering even
inaccessible areas has around 600 health units, which require minimal
upgradation by way of providing investigation facilities, mobile medical vans,
etc., so as to provide better attention to the staff and their families posted
in wayside and far-flung stations. Similarly, secondary level health care
system will be strengthened in Railway hospitals duly making use of
specialists’ facilities available in the local areas.
Provision for sale of dairy products under Catering Policy
In my last Budget Speech I had announced the
promotion of sale of milk, curd, mattha and dairy products on Indian Railways
for improving the health of passengers. With the same objective, in the new
catering policy milk stalls will be allotted to Apex Dairy Cooperative
Societies of Centre or State Government without participating in open tender,
on the basis of application in all categories of stations. Sale of other
hygienic eatables and beverages in eco-friendly potteries/dishes like Kulhars
will be promoted on Indian Railways.
Given the intensive use
of our trains and the long distances travelled, it has been felt that standardization
of methods of ensuring complete cleaning of trains at identified intermediate
stations is a must. Railways have been
working in this direction for the last two years, and a comprehensive system
for this purpose has been developed at Ratlam station of Western Railway. In the coming year this standard ‘Clean
Train Station System’ will be implemented on at least one station of each zonal
railway and the total number is proposed to be raised to 50 during the course
of next five years.
I am glad to inform the Hon’ble members that, as a
trial measure, use of stainless steel EMU coaches is being adopted in the
corrosion prone suburban area of Mumbai using the technology already acquired
by M/s Bharat Earth Movers Limited (BEML).
Apart from improving the availability of EMU coaches due to its
corrosion resistant features, these EMU coaches will be aesthetically superior,
have pleasing ambience and provide neat and clean look to the passengers.
of Composite Sleepers
Indian Railways have
developed an alternative to wooden sleepers in the form of concrete sleepers
and steel channel sleepers. However, there are locations where wooden sleepers
are still required. For such locations also, as an alternative to wooden
sleepers, composite sleepers, made of recycled waste material have been tried
and the initial field trials have been found to be successful. It has, therefore, been decided to go for
extensive trials of composite sleepers.
Awards to Rail Wheel Factory, Bangalore
with Railways’ policy to upgrade quality and environmental management systems
in Production Units to international standards, Rail Wheel Factory at Yelahanka
achieved distinction by winning several National Awards in the current year.
Recently, Rail Wheel Factory has also been certified for Occupational Health
and Safety Management System conforming to OHSAS-18001.
I am happy to inform this
August House that in June 2004, the Mumbai CST building was inscribed by UNESCO
as World Heritage Site. I must add that
this is the only railway station in the world that has been bestowed this
honour. It may be recalled that earlier
the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway was inscribed as a World Heritage Site. Considering the social and cultural
significance of rail heritage, training on this subject has been started in
Railway Staff College.
Indian Railways –UIC Initiatives
The World Executive Council Meeting of the Union of
International Railways (UIC) is being held in India in April 2005, for the
first time under the Chairmanship of Indian Railways, which is a recognition of
the importance of Indian Railways in the world Railway community.
Towards establishing an International Railway
Strategic Management Institute under the aegis of UIC in India, the initial
module of the first course for railway managers, would commence in Paris in
May, 2005. The second module of this
course would be held in Railway Staff College, Vadodara in November, 2005.
training to Railway personnel of BIMSTEC countries
India’s membership of BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal
Initiative for Multi-Sectoral, Technical and Economic Cooperation) is an
important articulation of our Government’s “Look East” Policy. The first meeting of Railway Chief Executive
Officers of BIMSTEC countries was held in New Delhi in September 2004. During the meeting, Indian Railways have
offered to train the railway personnel from the member countries free of
cost. This gesture was widely
appreciated by member countries.
The performance of Public Sector Undertakings has
been satisfactory during the year 2003-04 also. Indian Railway Finance Corporation Ltd. posted a net profit after
tax of Rs. 379 crore during the year 2003-04 and paid a dividend of Rs. 110
crore, as against dividend of Rs. 101 crore in the previous year. Container
Corporation of India Ltd. registered a turnover of Rs. 1807 crore with a net
profit of Rs. 368 crore. The Company paid a dividend of Rs. 81crores during the
year 2003-04. IRCON International Ltd.
has registered a turnover of Rs. 792 crore with a net profit of Rs. 62 crore
and paid a dividend of Rs. 19 crore during the year 2003-04. RITES Ltd.
registered a turnover of Rs.285 crore with net profit of Rs.48 crore, and paid
a dividend of Rs.12 crore. Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation
Limited, during the year 2003-04, earned a total income of Rs. 70 crore as
against Rs. 53 crore earned during the previous year. Railtel Corporation of
India Ltd. increased its earnings to Rs.26 crore in 2003-04. During the year
2003-04, the revenues of KRC have increased from Rs. 227 crore to Rs. 250
crore, that is 10% compared to the previous year. However, to cover it’s financing costs Ministry of Railways has
provided loans to KRC over the years. The
loan amount to end March 2004 is Rs. 1,950 crore.
I am happy to report that during the current
financial year, an amount of Rs. 100 cr has been declared as interim
dividend. IRFCs contribution is Rs. 70
crore in this, whereas Container Corporation of India has paid about Rs. 25
crore and RITES Rs. 4 crore.
Consistent with the Government of India’s directives
to consider issue of bonus shares by profit making PSUs, IRCON, which had a
free reserve to the tune of Rs. 647 crore as on 31st March 2004, issued
bonus shares in the ratio of 1:1.
Accordingly, the paid up share capital of Government of India in IRCON
has gone up from Rs. 4.93 cr to Rs. 9.87 cr.
Sir, it is a matter of pride that two public sector
undertakings under the railways, namely, RITES and IRCON have made a mark and
have made successful bids in the international arena. We intend to strengthen the position of our PSUs at the
international level by giving them greater autonomy and by bringing about
qualitative improvement in their managerial and technical capabilities.
Indian Railways is at present running more than 9000
passenger trains. During the last few years, the railways have registered an
annual average growth rate of nearly 3% in the number of passengers. Analysis shows that while on the one hand
there are several routes or sections on which there is considerable demand, on
the other there are several trains that suffer from lack of patronage due to
inconvenient timings or the running of many trains at close intervals. It is, therefore, proposed to review all the
trains with low patronage and deploy resources where there is greater need.
I propose the following services for the year
Muzaffarpur-Howrah Jansadharan Express (weekly)
Express (6 days a week)
Bilaspur-Tirupati Express via Visakhapatnam
Jabalpur-Bhopal Express (daily)
Chennai Egmore-Secunderabad Express via Kurnool Town
Madgaon-Mangalore Jan Shatabdi Express (6 days a week)
Express (6 days a week)
Bilaspur-Itwari Express (daily)
Mangalore - Shravanbelagola Passenger
(after completion of new line )
Kumbakonam - Thanjavur Passenger (daily)
Chennai Egmore- Pondicherry Link Passenger (daily)
Guwahati-New Bongaigaon Passenger (daily)
Secunderabad - Nanded Express (daily)
Secunderabad - Nizambad Passenger (daily)
Secunderabad- Bodhan Passenger (daily)
Secunderabad- Basar Passenger (daily)
Gondia - Balaghat Passenger - 4 Pairs (after
Udaipur - Jaipur
Express (after gauge conversion)
Yesvantpur- Mangalore Express (via Mysore) (after gauge
Yesvantpur - Mangalore
Express (via Arsikere) (after gauge conversion)
Madurai- Manamadurai Passenger (after
Thanjavur - Thiruvarur
Passenger (after gauge conversion)
Udaipur - Chittorgarh Passenger-2 Pairs (after
Kanpur - Farrukhabad Express (after gauge conversion)
Kanpur - Farrukhabad Passenger - 2 Pairs (after
Lucknow - Farrukhabad Passenger (after
Rupsa - Bangariposi DMU (after gauge conversion)
Ranchi - Lohardaga DMU (after
Bankura - Rainagar DMU (after
Amritsar - Attari DMU (daily)
Ajmer - Rewari Passenger (MG) (daily)
Hubli - Chikjajur Passenger (daily)
Rajkot - Veraval Fast Passenger (daily)
Ahmedabad - Mehsana Passenger (MG) (daily)
Agra Cantt - Bayana MEMU
Parli - Parbhani Passenger (daily)
Passenger (MG) (daily)
Bina - Guna Passenger-2
Gondia - Chanda Fort Passenger (6 days a
Mathura- Bandikui Passenger (via
Belgaum - Miraj Passenger-2 Pairs (5 days a
Gwalior - Guna Passenger (daily)
Bhubaneswar- Sambalpur Express (daily)
Secunderabad - Gudur Express (daily)
Veraval-Ahmedabad Express (via Rajkot) (daily)
Udaipur-Nizamuddin Express (after gauge conversion)
addition to the above services, I propose to run a train between Patna and
Amritsar which will be added to 2317/2318 Akal Takht Express.
Extension of trains
me great pleasure to announce the extension of run of the following services:
New Delhi – Muzaffarpur Lichchavi Express to Samastipur (after
completion of terminal extension facilities)
– Delhi Sarai Rohilla to Delhi
Delhi – Farrukhabad Kalindi
Express to Bhiwani on one side and to Kanpur on the other (after gauge
Mysore – Thanjavur Express to Kumbakonnam (after gauge conversion)
Coimbatore - Thanjavur Express to Kumbakonnam (after gauge conversion)
Tirupati – Hyderabad Krishna Express to Nizamabad
Mumbai CST–Nizamabad Devgiri Express to Kacheguda
Trivandrum - Hapa Express to
Rajkot-Veraval instead of Rajkot-Hapa
Tiruchirrappalli – Thanjavur Passenger to Tiruvarur (after gauge conversion)
Tiruchirrappalli – Thanjavur Passenger to Tiruvarur (after gauge conversion)
Neemuch – Chittaurgarh Passenger to Udaipur
1 KA/2 KA
Allahabad - Kanpur Central Passenger to Farrukhabad (after gauge conversion)
Chennai Egmore –Erode Express to Coimbatore
Ahmedabad-Dhanbad Parasnath Express to Asansol
Ahmedabad–Muzaffarpur Sabarmati Express to Darbhanga
Chennai – Visakhapatnam Express to Bhubaneswar
Kerala Express to Chandigarh (after extension of new pit line)
Delhi-New Jalpaiguri Sikkim Mahananda
Link Express to Alipurduar
Kacheguda – Sri Sathyasai Prashanthi Nilayam Express to Yesvantpur
Jaipur – Bangalore Express to Mysore (after doubling)
Trivandrum – Bilaspur Express to Korba (after
provision of new pit line)
Howrah - Malda Town Passenger to Balurghat
Andhra Pradesh Sampark Kranti Express to Tirupati via Kurnool Town.
Hirakud Express to Visakhapatnam
Express to Bhubaneswar
Kalinga Utkal Express to Haridwar
Sapta Kranti Express to Darbhanga
from the above, it is also proposed that 6595/6596 Sanghamitra Express running
between Rajendranagar, Patna and Yeshwantpur will now go to Bangalore City
instead of Yeshwantpur.
Hon’ble Members will be happy to
know that weekly frequencies of some popular trains shall be increased. Details are given below.
Lokmanya Tilak (T) –
Gorakhpur Godan Express from tri-weekly to 4 days a week
Tilak (T) –Chhapra Godan
Express from weekly to tri-weekly
Puri – Tirupati Service
from weekly to 5 days a week
Chennai Egmore – Trivandrum Ananthapuri Express from 6 days a week to daily
Gorakhpur- New Delhi Gorakhdham Express from tri-weekly to daily with extension
Vananchal Express from 4 days a week to 5 days a week.
Delhi-Dibrugarh Town Rajdhani Link Express from tri-weekly to daily.
Egmore-Tenkasi Podhigai Express from weekly to bi-weekly.
Express from bi-weekly to daily with diversion via Tirupati.
Amarkantak Express from 4 days a week to daily.
Further, in order to strengthen the existing services
on various routes, I propose to augment the well-patronized trains over Indian
Railways wherever feasible by deploying about 400 additional coaches.
During the coming year I also propose to speed up
over 30 trains, and convert 1063/1064 Dadar-Chennai Express to a superfast
I had announced taking up of 72 surveys in my last
Budget Speech. 20 more surveys have further been sanctioned since the
presentation of the last budget. I am
happy to state that 27 surveys have since been completed and based on results
of the survey, further decision is being taken in the Ministry. I am happy to inform the House that
execution of a new 85 km BG line from Deoriya Sadar to Hathua via Katia,
Samoor, Bhagipatti, Pachdevri, Bathua Bazar, Phulwariya, Salar-Khurd and Lain
Bazar has been included in this Budget.
Gauge conversions of Chindwara-Nagpur and Pratapnagar-Chota Udaipur have
also been included in the Budget. Some other projects have been processed for
clearance of the Planning Commission, which include new line from Manoharabad
to Kothapalli and Chola to Bulandshehr and gauge conversion of
Kolar-Chickballapur and Virudunagar-Manamadurai. The surveys of gauge conversion of the Ankleshwar Rajpipla and
Ahmedpur-Katwa are nearing completion.
The remaining surveys are in various stages of progress and all the
surveys have been targeted for completion during 2005-06.
I. New Surveys for following new
lines are being taken up
Mekhliganj – Haldibari
Yamuna Nagar - Patiala
Kotturu - Chitradurg via Jagalur
Rail link to Kundalpur
Qadian to Beas
Anupgarh-Khajuwala - Ramgarh-Jaisalmer .
Erode-Palani via Dharapura
Satyamangalam-Mettur via Anthur
Barhaj Bazar – Faizabad via Dohrighat
Madhubani-Sitamarhi-Bairgnia via Shivpur, Pakri Deal,
Kusheswarasthan-Darbhanga via Singhia, Akouna, Baheri,
Nawadah-Giridih via Satgawan
Amta – Bagnan
Kollangode – Trichur
II. Surveys for following New Lines are
of Naupada–Gunupur line up to Theruvali
Kalan – Jakhal via Fatehabad and Ratia
Road (via Padampur)
via Mahabalipuram and Pondicherry
to Sahaganj via Sultanpur/Qadipur
Daltonganj via Imamganj
III. New Surveys for conversion of following
line to broad gauge are being taken up:
of Rupsa–Bangriposi gauge conversion up to Gurumahishasini
Surveys for gauge conversion of the
following lines are being updated
with extension to Baranda/Koteswar
-Taranga Hill with extension upto Ambaji
V. New surveys for doubling of the
following lines are being taken up
Itarsi -Nagpur-Wardha-Ballarshah 3rd line
Ballarshah-Kazipet 3rd line
Kazipet-Vijaywada-Gudur 3rd line
Jharsuguda-Champa 3rd line
Durg-Nagpur 3rd line
Ratlam-Vadodra 3rd line
for doubling of the following lines are being updated:
Sir, in my last budget speech I had announced that a wheel
manufacturing plant should be set up at Chapra to reduce dependence on import
of wheels. I am happy to inform the
House that the work of setting up of wheel manufacturing plant at Chapra has
been included in the budget.
Concrete Sleeper Plants
In order to remove mismatch between the production capacity
and the requirement and to avoid long distance transportation of concrete
sleepers, it has been decided to set up 12 new concrete sleeper plants in the
country. Out of these, five plants at
Chak Sikander, Dauram Madhepura, Sitamarhi, Palghat and Harihar would be set up
on immediate need basis.
To encourage development of infrastructure and industry in
the state of Jammu & Kashmir and northeastern region. Railways have decided to simplify rules
relating to setting up of industrial units in these areas for supply of track
components. Railways have decided to give special dispensation to the existing
policy of approving new vendors.
Sir, I would now like to present the Annual Plan
2005-06. The Plan outlay for 2005-06
has been kept at Rs.11,827 crore.
Taking into account the outlay of Rs.3,522 crore on safety related works
through the Special Railway Safety Fund (SRSF), the total outlay comes to
Rs.15,349 crore. This is Rs.851 crore
more than the outlay of last year. In
addition to this, in order to improve the productivity and efficiency of the
Indian Railways, the Hon’ble Prime Minister has directed the Planning
Commission to allow the Ministry of
Railways to access extra budgetary resources to the extent of Rs 3000
crore by identifying and posing financially viable throughput enhancement
schemes on a projectised basis. For the
year 2005-06, the total funds received from General Exchequer are Rs. 7,230.81
crore, which include Rs. 2,699 crore for SRSF, Rs. 710.81 crore from the
Central Road Fund leaving a net budgetary support of Rs. 3821 crore for
distribution to different planheads.
The corresponding figure of last year’s budget estimates was Rs. 7,020
crore, including Rs. 2,075 crore for
the SRSF and Rs. 401 crore from the Central Road Fund.
In addition to the budgetary support, I propose to provide
Rs.4,718 crore for plan expenditure through internal resource generation which
is higher than what was budgeted for previous year by Rs.990 crore. As in previous years, extra-budgetary
resources through market borrowing from Indian Railways Finance Corporation
will provide the balance requirement of the Plan. The market borrowing targeted for 2005-06 is Rs. 3,400 crore. For
the Special Railway Safety Fund, the contribution of the Central Government
would be supplemented by Railways’ own contribution which is expected to be
Rs.823 crore, taking the total outlay under SRSF to Rs.3,522 crore.
Sir, the thrust of the Annual Plan is towards works for
enhancement of throughput, safety and development. The total outlay for the five major plan project heads this year
has been kept at Rs.2,185 crore with Rs.658 crore on New Lines, Rs.645 crore on
Gauge Conversion, Rs.505 crore for Doubling and Rs.102 crore for
Electrification. The outlay on metropolitan transport projects has been kept at
Rs.275 crore. Apart from this, Rs.493
crore received as EAP element for projects to be executed by the Rail Vikas
Nigam are being allotted to several works in the planheads New Lines, Doubling,
Gauge Conversion and Railway Electrification. The outlay on safety related
planheads, inclusive of outlay given under the Special Railway Safety Fund, is
Rs.2,623 crore for Track Renewals, Rs.755 crore for the Bridges and Rs.1,185
crore for Signalling & Telecommunications.
Additional funds to the tune of Rs 1365 crore have been
sought for the national project of Udhampur Srinagar Baramulla new line and the
newly declared national projects of the northeastern region. Release of funds to these would be made in
the course of the year based on the pace of work. Similarly, the additional funds of Rs 358 crore sought for the
works being executed by RVNL would also be released as necessary during the
course of the year.
During the year 2004-05, about 1400 kms of broad
gauge (BG) lines are likely to be added as against the progress of 1222 kms
achieved during 2003-04. For the year
2005-06, a target of addition of 1692 km of BG lines has been set.
Sir, I had mentioned in my Budget Speech 2004-05 that
time bound targets for completion of projects in the Northeast region would be
fixed. I express my heartfelt gratitude to the Hon’ble Prime Minister for
having approved Kumarghat-Agartala and Jiribam-Imphal Road (Tupul) new line and
Lumding-Silchar-Jiribam gauge conversion projects as “National Projects”. The
targets for completion of these have been fixed as March 2007, March 2010 and
March 2009 respectively. The completion
of these projects is expected to meet the long-standing aspirations of the
people of the area.
Sir, the challenging National Project of
Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla is one of the flag ship projects of Indian
Railways, and all out efforts are being made to complete this expeditiously,
despite the technical hurdles and certain other problems. The progress in Udhampur-Katra suffered a
setback due to heavy ingress of underground water in one of the tunnels. The technical solution to this unforeseen problem
is being worked out. The progress in
the Quazigund-Baramulla and Katra-Quazigund sections has also suffered due to
various reasons. Government is taking all action to provide security on the
project alignment and to expedite the progress of the project.
ROUTE WISE THROUGHPUT ENHANCEMENT
Sir, this year a special effort has been made to
sanction a greater number of route wise throughput enhancement works to remove
congestions on the golden quadrilateral and its diagonals and to bring
remarkable improvement in the operating
efficiency of the Railways. These
include terminal improvement works to bring down the turn round of wagons,
deployment of modern signalling and telecommunication to enhance line capacity,
doubling of railway lines, IT related initiatives to improve productivity and
Sir, the financing of traffic facility works is done
through the Development Fund also. With
a view to making available adequate funds for throughput enhancement works, the
proposed appropriation to this Fund in the current and ensuing year is Rs 3578
crore as against Rs 1280 crore in the last two years, i.e., 2002-03 and
2003-04, which is three times more.
Apart from this, extra budgetary resources of Rs 3000 crore on a
projectised basis and Rs 851 crore through Rail Vikas Nigam would be available
based on need. I have already covered the IT and signalling and
telecommunication related initiatives earlier in my speech and would now like
to elaborate on the remaining.
Terminal Improvement Works
Besides the 200 odd sanctioned works relating to
improvement of terminals, another 42 terminals are proposed to be covered for
providing facilities for full rake placement and round the clock working.
During 2004-2005, doubling of 307 kms is likely to be
completed while for the year 2005-06, a target of 538 kms has been fixed.
In Kerala, the impetus for progressing with the
doubling of Mangalore-Shoranur is being maintained and 30 kms from Pallipuram
to Shoranur is targeted for completion during 2004-05. On the Jallandhar-Jammu
Tawi section, progress of doubling is being expedited so as to complete the
same by March 2007. The completion of doubling of
Nergundi-Cuttack-Raghunathpur, Khurda Road-Delang and Sambalpur-Sason in
Orissa, Korba-Gevra Road in Chhattisgarh, Diara-Singur,
Champahati-Ghutiarisharif, Bandel-Bansberia, Eklakhi-Kumarganj-Harishchanderpur
in West Bengal, Chapra-Hajipur in Bihar, Tornagallu-Hospet, Hagari-Bellary,
Bangalore-Bidadi in Karnataka, Panvel-JNPT in Maharashtra, Pallipuram-Shoranur
in Kerala, Korrukupet-Ennore in Tamil Nadu and Cheonki-Lohagara, Zafarabad-Uttratia
Chandrauli and Sultanpur-Bandhuakalam in Uttar Pradesh would add to the line
capacity on certain congested routes.
Apart from this, doubling of the sections
Jharsuguda-Rengali, Kursela-Seemapur, Maheshkunt-Thanabihpur, Bhimsen-Juhi,
Sahjanwa-Munderwa, Babhnan-Mankapur, Ekma-Jiradei, Jaipur-Dausa, Salka Road
–Khongsara ,Chinpain-Sainthia and third line between Panki- Bhaupur,
Bhilai-Durg and Allahabad-Subedarganj
have been proposed for inclusion in the budget. The completion of these
projects will improve traffic flows and add to line capacity on some of the
Gauge conversions of Bharatpur-Agrafort of
Agrafort-Bandikui, Adilabad-Kinvat of Mudkhed-Adilabad, Madurai-Manamadurai of
Madurai-Rameswaram, Rupsa-Baripada of Rupsa-Bangriposi, Manoharabad-Nizamabad,
Viramgam-Mehsana and Sihor-Palitana have been completed during the current
year. Further, gauge conversions of Chhitaurgarh-Udaipur, Samukhtala Road-New
Bongaigaon, Thanjavur-Tiruvarur of Trichy-Nagore-Karaikal,
Bijapur-Basavanabagewadi of Sholapur-Gadag, Bankura-Sonamukhi of
Bankura-Damodar river railway line, Mansi-Saharsa and Ranchi-Lohardaga are
likely to be completed during the year. The progress of Gondia-Balaghat of
Jabalpur-Gondia, Barsoi-Radhikapur of Jogbani-Katihar-Radhikapur and
Sakleshpur-Subramania road of Hassan-Mangalore is also being expedited so as to
open these sections early.
During the year 2005-06, a target of completion of
935 kms of gauge conversion has been proposed which include the following
Kumbakonam-Mayiladuthurai of Villupuram-Thanjavur
Manamadurai-Mandapam of Madurai-Rameswaram
Trichy - Manamadurai
Kanpur-Anwarganj-Farrukhabad of Kanpur-Kasganj-Mathura
Virddhachallam-Attur of Salem-Cuddalore
of Gandhidham -Palanpur
I am glad to inform the House that the electrification of
Renigunta-Nandalur, Balasore-Bhadrak and Kurda Road – Puri rail lines has been
completed and train services introduced on these sections. Electrification on
the Chennai-Kolkata route from Chennai to Barang and Kharagpur to Bhadrak has
already been completed. Work is in
progress on the remaining sections and is likely to be completed by March
2005. The electrification target of 375
kms for the current year is expected to be achieved.
The work of electrification of Moradabad-Lucknow-Utretia has also been included
in this budget.
For 2005-06, electrification of 350 route kilometers has
been targeted. This will cover the
Villupuram-Pondicherry is also being taken up with 50% of the cost being borne
by the Government of Pondicherry.
SUBURBAN TRANSPORT PROJECTS
Phase-I of Thane-Turbhe-Vashi section in Navi Mumbai
has been completed and opened for passenger traffic in November, 2004. Work on the second phase viz., Turbhe-Nerul
section, is in progress.
Gauge Conversion works of full section between
Chennai Beach and Chengalpattu has been completed and opened for traffic in
November 2004. The BG link between
Chennai Egmore and Chennai Central has been approved as a part of the on-going
suburban gauge conversion project.
The Tirumailai-Tiruvamniyur section of the
Tirumailai-Velacheri phase-II has already been commissioned. The remaining section from
Tiruvamniyur-Velacheri is slated for opening during 2006-07.
The proposal to extend MRTS phase-II from Velacheri
to St. Thomas Mount is under the consideration of Ministry of Railways. The Government of Tamil Nadu has already
given its commitment for sharing two-third of the cost of this line. This scheme will be further processed for
The extensions of Circular Railway, Kolkata, from
Princepghat to Majerhat and from Dum Dum to Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Airport
are expected to be completed by March 2005.
Extension of Metro Railway, Kolkata, from Tollygunge to
Garia is expected to be completed by the year 2007.
I am happy to state that New Lines from Kakinada to
Kotapalli, Kanthi-Digha of Tamluk-Digha and Mahenderlalnagar-Amta of
Howrah-Amta have already been completed.
It is hoped to complete Amravati-Chandurbazar, Nokha-Sanjauli,
Rajgir-Nekpur of Rajgir-Tilaiya,
Hassan-Sharavanabelagola and Bangalore-Neelamangala of Bangalore-Hassan
during the year. Further, works on Chandigarh-Morinda of Chandigarh-Ludhiana
and Banka-Barhat of Deogarh-Sultanganj are in advanced stages of completion.
In 2005-06, Railways propose to complete 219 kms of
new lines including the following sections:
Nekpur-Natesar of Rajgir - Tilaiya.
Banka-Barhat of Deogarh-Sultanganj.
Chandigarh-Morinda of Chandigarh-Ludhiana.
Sanjauli-Piro of Ara-Sasaram.
Budget Estimates 2005-06
Sir, I shall now deal with
the Budget Estimates for 2005-2006.
Enthused by the trend of
buoyancy in freight loading in 2004-05, the Railways are expecting to carry 635
million tonnes of revenue earning originating freight traffic during 2005-2006,
which is 35 million tonnes more than the traffic likely to be lifted in the
current year. This increase is higher than
the average incremental freight achieved in the last few years. The originating passenger traffic is
estimated to go up by about 4 per cent, which along with certain measures will
result in increasing the earnings by 7.4 per cent over the Revised Estimates of
the current year. Considering the
initiatives taken in parcel segment, the ‘Other Coaching’ earnings are expected
to grow by 10 percent. ‘Sundry Other’ earnings are expected to grow by 5 per
On the basis of these
assumptions and considering the various rationalization measures proposed in
the budget, the Gross Traffic Receipts (GTR) are estimated at Rs 50,968 cr.
These are Rs 4,183 cr higher than the Revised Estimates of the current
Ordinary working expenses are estimated to be Rs. 35,600 cr,
7% more than the revised estimates of the current year. Appropriation to
pension fund from revenue will be Rs. 6,940 cr. Despite making an unprecedented
appropriation of Rs.3,604 cr to Depreciation Reserve Fund, which is around 60%
more than the appropriation of Rs. 2,267 cr made in the Budget Estimates of the
current year, operating ratio is expected to improve to 90.8%. The working ratio of 87% of Budget Estimates
for the current year is expected to improve significantly to 83% in the next
year’s Budget Estimates. Sir, after
implementation of the recommendations of the Fifth Pay Commission the Operating
Ratio is expected to reach this level for the first time in eight years. I
express my commitments to bring down the operating ratio to less than 85% in
the coming years through strict control on ordinary working expenses and after
making adequate provision to DRF by enhancing revenue earning capabilities of
the Indian Railways. Sir, I know that this is a very difficult and challenging
har path par mali pushp nahi bikhrata hai,
path aksar pathrila hi hota hai”
The total Working Expenses will, thus, amount to Rs 46,144
cr leading to the Net Traffic Receipts of Rs 4,824 cr. Taking together the effect of Net
Miscellaneous Receipts, the Net Revenue works out to Rs 5,914cr.
A memorandum on the rate of dividend payable to General
Revenues for 2005-06 is under the consideration of Railway Convention
Committee. The committee has
recommended a reduction in rate of dividend for 2004-05 from 7% to 6.5%. As resolution for this recommendation is yet
to be adopted by the Parliament, the dividend for the current year and for the
next year has been provided at the same rates as adopted for 2003-04. On this
basis, dividend liability for 2005-2006 works out to Rs 3,638 cr. Along with
payment of Rs. 300 cr towards deferred dividend, an amount of Rs 3,938 cr
becomes payable to the General Revenues.
This liability will be discharged in full.
The above projections are expected to yield Rs 4718 cr
towards the Plan outlay for the year, from the internal resources.
I do not propose any across the board increase in freight
rates for 2005-06.
I propose to make historic changes in the goods tariff to make it simple, rational and
lenge, aakhir manjil rahon ki mohtaz nahin,
ummidon ka, kal hoga wahi jo aaj nahin”
Due to this simplification the Goods Tariff, which runs into
a thick volume of more than five hundred pages containing over 4000
commodities, will now be condensed into a few pages only.
In the proposed rationalisation, the Goods Tariff will have
only 80 groups of commodities instead of the existing over 4000 commodities.
Each group, under a Main Commodity Head, shall have a single uniform class for
the different commodities in the group, irrespective of their being in
different physical forms or shapes and their different conditions, whether raw
or manufactured. A copy of the rationalised Goods Tariff is given as an
Annexure to the Memorandum Explaining the adjustments in Passenger Fares and
Presently, minimum chargeable weight of the wagon is
prescribed keeping in view the nature of the commodity to be loaded. For
lightweight items this is considerably less than the carrying capacity of the wagon.
This procedure for fixation of the minimum weight condition for different
commodities is not only cumbersome but has also been causing dis-satisfaction
to the rail users. Therefore, for all commodities, freight will be charged
based upon the carrying capacity of wagons. As despite putting lighter
commodities in the lowest Class-90 there may be an appreciable increase in
their freight rates, it is proposed to introduce three new classes below
Class-90 viz. 90-W1, 90-W2 and 90-W3.
With the introduction of these three new classes, while the increase in freight
will be contained to the barest minimum for most of the commodities, there will
also be a marginal reduction in the freight in certain cases. Otherwise also
the aim of these revolutionary reforms is not to earn revenue but to simplify
the cumbersome procedure.
The existing freight structure has 27 classes, in intervals
of “Fives” from Class-90 to Class-190 and in intervals of “Tens” from Class-190
to Class-250. It is proposed to have a freight structure with uniform interval
of “Tens” between the successive classes. It is also proposed to reduce the
highest class from Class-250 to Class-240 to make the freight structure more
compact. The total number of classes shall, accordingly, stand reduced from the
existing total of 27 classes to 19 classes.
To ensure that freight rates of commodities being used by common man are
not increased, classes of kerosene and LPG have been reduced from 135 to 130
and 185 to 180 respectively. As a
result the freight for Kerosene and LPG will get reduced by 3.7% and 2.7%
The existing classification of different types of Chemical
Manures ranges from Class-90 to Class-115. In the proposed rationalisation, the
entire group of Chemical Manures will have a single uniform Class-100. This
will result in a reduction in the freight rates of many chemical manures and
increase in some cases.
Sir, our government is committed to the well-being of the
economically under-privileged sections of society. Keeping this in view, the transportation of Food Grains and
Pulses is done even below Base Class-100 at Class-90 and the resultant loss of
earnings from short distances is being borne by the railways. To bear this loss of earnings in public
interest is our government’s commitment but there is no justification in
incurring such losses in the transportation of non-PDS and non PAP food grains
and pulses. Therefore, the classification for Food Grains and Pulses is
proposed to be revised to Class-120. However, Food Grains for Public
Distribution System and Poverty Alleviation Programmes and for other relief
works shall be charged at Class-100 so as to avoid increase in their freight
rates. Often open wagons return empty
on Indian Railways. To reduce empty
movement of such rakes, food grains for public distribution system, etc. will
be carried at Class-90.
A large portion of freight traffic on Indian Railways comes
from programmed traffic. We have
long-term relationship with such customers and we transport their goods year after
year in a planned manner. Therefore,
apart from the transporters of programmed Iron-Ore, who also have private
sidings in their steel plants, all other transporters of Iron-Ore will be
charged at Class-160 instead of Class-140.
Freight customers, particularly exporters, often require
rakes at short notice, but timely supply of the same is not possible due to
long waiting lists. Keeping in view the convenience of such customers a new
“Premium Registration Scheme” has been drawn up. Under this scheme, those who
are willing to pay freight at two classes higher than the prescribed class
shall be accorded higher preference in allotment of rakes within the same class
of priority. To avoid inconvenience to non-premium customers, at least two days
in a week will be reserved for allotment of rakes strictly as per the date of
In order to encourage public-private partnership in
procurement of wagons to meet the anticipated incremental freight traffic in
the coming years, it has been decided to introduce an attractive new scheme
called “Wagon Investment Scheme”. The customers investing in railway wagons
will be assured of the supply of a guaranteed number of rakes every month based
on the number of rakes procured and the turn round of the type of wagons, which
will be in addition to the normal supply of rakes to such customers. For such guaranteed rakes, there will be a rebate in freight of
10% for BOXN wagons for 10 years and BCN wagons upto 15 years. For such customers adopting the engine on load
scheme also, additional two rakes per month will be made available on a
guaranteed basis, but there will be no freight rebate on these additional
rakes. Apart from this, provision has
also been made to provide higher priority in the Preferential Traffic Order for
As Hon’ble Members are aware
while presenting the Budget for the current financial year I had decided not to
increase passenger fares at all. Noted
poet Nagarjuna from Bihar in his book ‘Apne Khet Mein’ has written:-
“Jaan lo bhaiya, gharibon ki ek hoti jaat
Usi ke hukum se, hilenge ek-ek paat”
Sir, considering the advice given by Nagarjuna Baba, I do
not propose to increase any fares in this budget.
Sir, I consider it a privilege and also a unique opportunity
to lead the Railways. I would like to assure the August House that we will make
every possible effort to improve its performance in every field. I acknowledge
the enthusiasm and unstinted support of railwaymen without whose dedicated efforts
the creditable achievements of the Railways would not have been possible. Our
thanks are also due to passengers and users of the Railway whose co-operation
we have always been getting and I expect that this co-operation will be
forthcoming in future too.
Sir, over the last many years, the investment in
railway’s infrastructure has, in real terms, not been sufficient to keep pace
with the growth of the economy and meet the aspirations of the people. Hon’ble
Prime Minister has time and again stressed his commitment to ensure that this
system becomes one of the best Railway systems in the world and has assured me
that funds for this challenging task would be forthcoming without any
hindrance. While placing on record my
gratitude for his generous gesture, it will be my endeavour to fulfil the
expectations of the nation.
With these words, Sir, I commend the Railway Budget 2005 -
2006 to the House.
(Release ID :7351)