Railways to get ₹2.4L cr for future upgrades

The government proposes to spend ₹2.4 lakh crore on upgrading railway infrastructure in FY24, a move in line with its focus on making the national transporter “future ready”.

A large chunk of this amount will be spent on laying new railway lines, doubling existing ones and purchasing rolling stock, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in her budget speech on Wednesday.

The capital expenditure support for the railways in the next fiscal year is 50% higher than the ₹1.59 lakh crore allocated in the revised estimates for 2022-23, maintaining the trend of higher allocation for Indian Railways. The latest outlay was about nine times the amount earmarked in 2013-14, Sitharaman said.

The allocation for purchasing rolling stock has been more than doubled to ₹37,581 crore from the revised estimates of 2022-23. This, experts said, will help in getting more indigenously developed Vande Bharat trains into the system and in procurement of freight wagons.

Vivek Lohia, managing director at Jupiter Wagons, a supplier of wagons to Indian Railways, said the capital outlay will strengthen the railways’ infrastructure.

Railways to get ₹2.4L cr for future upgradesAgencies

Despite the push for modernisation, the high wage bill of the railways continues. For FY24, the total revenue expenditure is pegged at ₹1.55 lakh crore, of which ₹70,616 crore will be appropriated to the pension fund. This is higher than the ₹56,100 crore appropriated for pensions out of the total revenue expenditure of ₹1.38 lakh crore in 2022-23.


Business Asia
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