Calling the Union Budget 2021-22 "historic" for Indian Railways, Union Minister Piyush Goyal on Thursday said that the highest capital expenditure (CapEx) for Indian Railways will act as a "huge catalyst" to revitalise the economy and lead Indian Railways towards Aatmrbhar Bharat.
Speaking on the budgetary provisions for Indian Railways, he said that Indian Railways is marching ahead on its bigger plan like achieving 100 per cent electrification by 2023, Net Zero Carbon Emission network by 2030, modernisation of railways, ease of ticket booking, online freight services.
Thus, Indian Railways is on the verge of becoming a "Future Ready" network, the Railways Minister said.
"The General Budget 2021 has been historic for Indian Railways. It has focussed on infrastructure projects in Indian Railways. The highest capex for Indian Railways will act as a huge catalyst to revitalise the economy & lead Indian Railways towards Aatmrbhar Bharat," the minister said.
Taking to Twitter, Goyal tweeted: "Interacted with media and elaborated on how with the highest ever CAPEX, Indian Railways is all set to become the catalyst of change to Make India Aatmrbhar. Also, answered questions on the ongoing projects and new management mantra of railways."
Goyal said informed that normal train services will be decided upon in consultation with other stakeholders as the COVID situation is being monitored.
While talking about Dedicated Freight Corridors (DFC), the Union Minister said monetisation of assets can be taken up in stages by public listing and gradual disinvestment after DFC becomes fully operational, and Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India Limited (DFCCIL) starts registering healthy profit.
Speaking on the management mantra for Indian Railways, Goyal said that the management mantra of Indian Railways is to assign priority, allocate resources and expedite completion.
He further said that the focus is now on the completion of projects rather than on announcing new projects. Of the current 513 ongoing projects being implemented, Railways has identified supercritical, critical projects on capacity enhancement projects on high density network/highly utilised networks routes, multi tracking projects, connectivity projects and national projects.
Fund allocation and targets have been planned for the next four years. All supercritical projects will be completed by March 2022 and others will be completed by March 2024, he siad.
According to a release by the Ministry of Railways, Indian Railways has now the highest ever total Plan capital expenditure (CAPEX) of Rs 2,15,058 crores this year with Rs. 7,500 crores from internal resources, Rs 1,00,258 crores from extra budgetary resources and Rs 1,07,100 crores for capital expenditure allocation given in the General Budget.
"Indian Railways received a record outlay of Rs 1,10,055 crore, of which Rs 1,07,100 crore is for capital expenditure in the Union Budget 2021-22 presented in the Parliament. The Gross Budgetary allocation is Rs. 37,050 cr (53 per cent) higher than BE 2020-21. In spite of the covid, this is a remarkable vindication of the progress being made being undertaken Infrastructure projects in Indian Railways," read the release.
With this increase in Capex, Indian Railways will be the driver of Indian economy.
The thrust of annual plan 2021-22 is on infrastructure development, throughput enhancement, development of terminal facilities, augmentation of speed of trains, signaling systems, improvement of passengers/users' amenities, safety works of road over/under bridges, the Railways Ministry said.
( With inputs from ANI )
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