Railway Budget 2018 live update: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in his Union Budget 2018 speech announced a capital expenditure of Rs 1.48 lakh crore for Indian railways. According to Jaitley most of this money will be spent on capacity expansion.
Railway Budget 2018 live update: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in his Union Budget 2018 speech announced a capital expenditure of Rs 1.48 lakh crore for Indian railways. According to Jaitley most of this money will be spent on capacity expansion, since that is the most important priority for railways right now. There is a target of doubling 18,000 km of lines and gauge conversion is underway to eliminate capacity constraints, FM Jaitley said for Railway Budget 2018. Jaitley highlighted that new world-class train sets are being manufactured, dedicated freight corridors are coming up and electrification is being taken up as a priority task. Indian Railways is expected to explore other avenues to raise funding for its ambitious projects, such as conversion to broad gauge and signalling automation and electrification. From the focus on modernisation of signalling, use of fog safety devices to focus on better passenger amenities and safety, Rail Budget 2018 has laid out a road-map for Indian Railways of the future. To track minute-to-minute Railway Budget 2018 live updates, watch this space:
Track Rail Budget 2018 Live Updates:
12:33 PM: Arun Singh, Lead Economist at DnB – insta analysis on Budget 2018: This big push to the infrastructure sector, including announcements on railway infrastructure likely to be the necessary impetus to kick-start investment.
12: 22 PM: As many as 12,000 wagons, 5160 coaches and 700 locomotives are being procured, says FM Jaitley on Railway Budget 2018.
12: 18 PM: FM Jaitley talks of the ambitious bullet train project; says foundation stone of the bullet train was laid in September 2017.
12:15 PM: Big cheer for passengers! FM Jaitley announces that all trains will increasingly have WiFi and CCTVs. Other state-of-the-art passenger amenities will also be provided.
12:11 PM: Railway Budget 2018 has announced that 4267 unmanned railway crossing will be eliminated in the next two years.
12:07 PM: FM Jaitley announced Indian Railways plans to make world-class modern train sets. These include Train 18 and Train 20 sets that will be manufactured at Integral Coach factory in Chennai. The first of these modern train sets – Train 18 – will be rolled out in FY19.
12:05 PM: Physical targets of Indian Railways is also improving. Work on dedicated freight corridors is on in full-swing – both east and west – announced FM Jaitley in the Railway Budget speech.
12:00 PM: The capital expenditure of Indian railways has been pegged at Rs 1.48 lakh crore for the next financial year. Most of this capex will be devoted to capacity creation.
11:54 AM: India needs massive investment in infrastructure. We have made an alltime high allocation to roadways and Railways. PM personally reviews the progress of railway and infrastructure projects. A lot of projects have been fast-tracked.
11:50 AM: FM Jaitley talks of how his government has taken steps to step up job creation in the country. Indian railways employees form a large chunk of the formal workforce in the country. Will Railway Budget 2018 help generate more jobs?
11:45 AM: So far Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s Budget 2018 speech has been focused on agriculture, healthcare and housing. Announcements on Railway Budget 2018 soon.
11:40 AM: Interesting trivia: FM Jaitley announces world’s largest government-funded healthcare programme for India. FM Jaitley says that this is a first step towards universal healthcare service for India.
11:36 AM: We have announced plans to set up a dedicated Railway University in Vadodara, says FM Arun Jaitley during his Union Budget 2018 speech.
11:33 AM: Interested in Railway Budget history? Who presented the first Railway Budget? Why was Railway Budget always separate from the Union Budget? Read: Railway Budget 2018: History of rail budget that is now merged in Union Budget
11:29 AM: FM Arun Jaitley talks of the importance of the Swachh Bharat mission. In this line, Indian Railways vision to keep tracks defecation free with the help of bio-toilets has been in focus over the past few years. The mission to fit all trains with bio-toilets is still underway and is expected to be completed by March 2019.
11:24 AM: Given that this is the last full Budget of the Modi government, there is unlikely to be any announcement on railway fare hike, a politically sensitive issue amongst masses who use the national transporter. Experts believe that Indian Railways should look at non-fare avenues to raise revenue. Station redevelopment under the PPP model is one such project that is in focus.
11:19 AM: Rail Budget 2018 new trains: Highlights of list of new trains, railway projects & new zones. Track the article for the full list of new trains announced in Railway Budget 2018.
11:18 AM: On the infrastructure front, FM Jaitley announces more roads for better development and reach to rural India. Till now his Budget speech is focused on agriculture and raising farmers income. This is in line with expectations that the Budget will look to alleviate agricultural distress.
11:15 AM: All eyes on FM Arun Jaitley to announce key steps taken for Indian Railways for the next financial year.
11:09 AM: Interesting trivia on Budget 2018 – Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is mixing his Budget speech with Hindi and English. FM Jaitley continues to highlight Modi government’s achievements till date and moves on to talk of agriculture and the aim to double farmers’ income.
11:08 AM: This year’s Budget will focus on the agricultural and rural economy. Taking care of infrastructure will also form top priority, says FM Arun Jaitley in his speech. Railways forms an integral part of India’s infrastructure and there is hope that it would find greater focus in Budget 2018.
11:06 AM: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley highlights how the economy has grown on an average of 7.5% in the first three years of the Modi government. He also highlights various structural reforms that have been undertaken by the Modi government to take the Indian economy to a good growth path.
11:04 AM: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has started presenting Union Budget 2018. He starts by saying that the government has managed to pull India out of a group of Fragile Five economies and India is now one of the fastest growing economies. FM Jaitley talks of how his government is committed to upgrading infrastructure. This would also signal a boost for Indian Railways.
11:00 AM: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is expected to start his Union Budget 2018 speech soon. Railway Budget 2018 will form a part of his speech. Budgetary allocation to Indian Railways is very important as it determines the resources that Railway Ministry has in hand to spend for the next financial year. However, this time it is expected that Indian Railways will even more aggressively explore external avenues to raise funding for its key projects.
10:55 AM: Railway Budget 2018 is also expected to announce more measures for safety. This assumes significance in the backdrop of multiple railway accidents in 2017. Indian Railways is in severe need of infrastructure upgradation – there are old railway bridges and old railway tracks that need immediate attention.
10:50 AM: Railway Budget 2018 will talk of improving passenger experience and amenities, hints Piyush Goyal. This would come as a welcome step for passengers as Indian railways is the lifeline of the country. Passenger amenities are one of the best ways, apart from safety and on-time travel, to attract more passengers, especially at a time when aviation and roadways are also gaining ground.
10:45 AM: Railway Budget will be focused on improving technology upgradation in Indian Railways, says Piyush Goyal
10:40 AM: Budget 2018 will be focused on sustainable economic growth, says Piyush Goyal
10:35 AM: Budget 2018 will be focused on how to step up economic growth, says Piyush Goyal
10:20 AM: Last year Indian Railways had announced an operating ratio of 96 per cent
10:00 AM: Railway Minister Piyush Goyal has hinted that Rail Budget 2018 will have lots of goodies for common man and will ai at enhancing passenger experience
9:45 AM: There is also news that Railway Minister Piyush Goyal has fixed a 20% reduction in working expenses target for the coming financial year.
9:15 AM: Operating ratio reflects the financial health of Indian Railways. In layman’s terms, operating ratio is the expenditure that Indian Railways has to incur to earn every Rs 100.
9:00 AM: FM Arun Jaitley is expected to announced a financial trajectory to achieve the 75% operating ratio target that Indian Railways is reportedly aiming at over the coming years.
8:45 AM: In Rail Budget 2018, FM Jaitley may announce that Indian Railways is targeting an operating ratio of 93 per cent.
8.30 AM: No fare hike is expected to be announced in Railway Budget 2018. Experts are of the view that Indian Railways should introduce a demand-based graded tariff structure for better revenue generation.
8:00 AM: Indian Railways is expected to report some improvement in its operating ratio and some reports even suggest that FM Jaitley will announce the highly ambitious number of 75% which Indian Railways will aim to achieve in the coming years. The operating ratio of Railways is normally reported in the late 90s – a number that reflects the sorry state of the national transporter’s finances and revenue generation capacity.
7:45 AM: Rail Budget 2018 will continue with Indian Railways aim to lay new lines, doubling of existing and conversion to broad gauge. There is also likely to be a big mention for the massive electrification target, which will be a game-changer for Indian Railways.
7:30 AM: Rashtriya Rail Sanrakshya Kosh will give Indian Railways Rs 20,000 crore in FY 19 as well. The total sum of money announced as part of Rashtriya Rail Sanrakshya Kosh was Rs 1 lakh crore.
7:00 AM: There is buzz that Indian Railways may target a historic Rs 1.4 lakh crore capital expenditure. An earnings estimate of Rs 1.9 lakh crore is also expected to be announced in Rail Budget 2018.
6:30 AM: The elimination of unmanned crossings, a plan that found mention in Railway Budget 2017 speech as well, is likely to be highlighted in Rail Budget 2018 too. All unmanned crossings are expected to be eliminated by 2020.
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6:01 AM: Setting a timeline of around 2 years, Indian Railways hopes to equip all its premier trains such as Shatabdi, Rajdhani, Duronto with these surveillance systems.
5:30 AM: The CCTV set-up plan will involve setting up around 8 cameras in every coach in areas ranging from entry gates to other crucial points.
4:30 AM: As of now, railway data says that 50 trains and 395 railway stations have CCTVs fitted.
4:00 AM: To meet the ambitious target of installing many CCTV systems, Indian Railways is likely to explore funding options that include raising money from the market.
3:30 AM: Rail Budget for 2018-2019 is expected to allot around Rs 3,000 crore to installing CCTV systems in all its 11,000 trains. This includes both suburban and premium services. All 8,500 railway stations on the Indian Railways network will also be covered.
3:00 AM: There is buzz that Rail Budget 2018 will talk of installing CCTV systems for passenger safety.
2:00 AM: Rail Budget 2018 is also likely to announce steps to introduce European Train Control System Level-2. There is also talk of mobile train radio communication systems and electronic interlocking systems.
1:30 AM: A senior Railway Ministry official has been quoted as saying that the modern signalling system that Indian Railways is eyeing will not only help enhance safety but also help in increasing train speeds.
1:00 AM: Reports suggest that Indian Railways is leaving no stone unturned to raise resources through internal funding. The market is also being eyes, given the need to spend whopping sums on infrastructure upgradation and development.
12:30 AM: Rail Budget 2018 expected to announce complete signalling system revamp. This big step, which is expected to cost Indian Railways around Rs 78,000 crore also includes automation.
Railway Budget 2018, the budget for the national transporter, assumes significance because of the sheer volume of people and goods that Indian Railways carries. Indian Railways is undertaking several ambitious projects – from station redevelopment to dedicated freight corridors and the bid to connect the golden quadrilateral with high-speed and semi-high speed trains. These projects have also been lauded by the recently tabled Economic Survey 2017-2018. At a time when Indian Railways is aggressively trying to woo back traffic – both passenger and freight – from roadways and aviation, Rail Budget 2018 will provide a crucial impetus to the dream of connecting India better.