New Delhi: Government will provide budgetary support of Rs 4,301 crore to Indian Railways for 2016-17, representing an increase of 15.58 per cent from the revised estimate for the current fiscal.
In the current fiscal, the budgetary support has been lowered by Rs 1,007 crore from Rs 4,729 crore to Rs 3,721 crore, according to the Railway Budget for 2016-17, which was tabled by Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu in Parliament on Thursday.
"Railways are proposing a plan size of Rs 1,21,000 crore in 2016-17," he said in the budget.
The intention in 2016-17 is to improve revenues and ensure appropriate investments which can continue the road-map of
decongestion and enhance line-capacity enhancement as detailed in 2015-16.
"The focus is on enhanced CAPEX with a mix of various sources of funding in order to ensure that the projects are
given assured funding," he said.
Gross Traffic Receipts have been kept at Rs 1,84,820 crore, he said, adding passenger earnings growth has been pegged at 12.4 per cent and earnings target has accordingly been budgeted at Rs 51,012 crore.
The freight traffic is pegged at incremental traffic of 50 million tonnes, anticipating a healthier growth in the core sector of economy, he said.
Subdued growth in revenues –- both passenger and freight – presented a compelling reason for another increase in fares, but the minister didn't give in to hiking fare as an easy solution to resources woes, said Mukesh Butani, Managing Partner, BMR Legal.
Instead, the budget proposed enhanced revenue mobilisation through more innovative means, Butani said.
"Goods earnings is accordingly proposed at Rs 1,17,933 crore. Other coaching and sundries are projected at Rs 6,185
crore and Rs 9,590 crore, respectively," he said.