Railway Budget 2013: UPA express slows at poll signal
The OR remained at over 90% in the four years to 2012-13, with the worst ratio of 95.3% reported in both 2009-10 (that saw the effect of the Sixth Pay Commission award on wage/pension bills) and 2011-12. The excess left after payment of interest (4% for 2013-14) on the soft loan from the government, would be appropriated to the Development Fund (Rs 3,550 crore), Capital Fund (Rs 5,434 crore) and a newly created Debt Service Fund (Rs 4,163 crore), which would initially meet the debt-servicing liabilities for the World bank and JICA loans for the Dedicated Freight Corridor.
Bansalís proposals for allocation to the various railway funds (including Rs 22,000 crore to the pension fund and Rs 7,5000 crore the depreciation reserve fund used to replenish existing assets) and the plans to raise the combined balance of these funds to Rs 30,000 crore by the end of the current Plan period donít look very ambitious either. These funds have been depleted drastically since 2007-08, when their combined closing balance stood at an Rs 22,279 crore. The inability of railways to contribute in required amounts to creation of revenue-generating assets is evident from the fact that just Rs 425 crore was credited to the Capital Fund in 2012-13 as against the Rs 5,000 crore estimated in Budget 2012.
Bansal has laid