Indian Railways eyes big for Next Fiscal, plans Rs 1.46 Lakh Crore Outlay

NEW DELHI: Indian Railways has proposed its highest plan outlay of Rs 1.46 lakh crore for the next fiscal, up from Rs 1.31 lakh crore for the current financial year.

The next plan outlay will focus on electrification of about 8,000 km of rail tracks, and commissioning of 4,000 km of new rail lines including doubling, construction of new lines and gauge conversion.

Railways will also renew 4,000 km track route, a top rail ministry official said.

“Electrification works would be our priority as electrified routes will immediately reduce the operational costs. Plans to gradually phase out diesel run locomotives are also on,” the official said. In the next fiscal, railways is likely to acquire around 13,000 wagons, more than 600 locomotives (mostly electric) and almost 5,000 passenger coaches, most of them of safer LHB technology.

More than 40% of the outlay will come as gross budgetary support from the finance ministry that will also include safety fund and railways’ share from the central road fund.

The national transporter will raise the rest from extra budgetary resources such as IRFC bonds, institutional funding and monetisation of assets and from its own internal generation.

“We’ll be raising about Rs 20,000 crore through IRFC bonds and almost the same will come from Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC),” the rail official said.

About Rs 30,000 crore is expected to come from monetisation of assets and railways will internally generate Rs 16,000 crore. “We are expecting to get more than Rs 60,000 crore from the finance ministry. Modernisation of signalling, passenger amenities and completion of stalled projects will be the priority area,” the official said.

Railways received a gross budgetary support of Rs 55,000 crore for the current financial year.

The national transporter will also be targeting an operating ratio of less than 95% in the next fiscal. It’s hoping to end the current year with an operating ratio of 96-97%, the official said.

Operating ratio is a measure of performance — the money railways spends to earn Rs 100. Lower the ratio, better the performance.