Railway Budget 2018: Finance minister Arun Jaitley presented the Fiscal budget 2018 in the parliament today. He mentioned that for Modi government one of the main priorities is developing Infrastructure which strictly includes development of Railway infrastructure. The 92 year old system of announcing Railway budget and general budget was eliminated by the Modi government and last year for the first time after Independence, a combined Union Budget 2017 was presented by Arun Jaitley in the parliament. In Union Budget 2018, the finance ministry made many significant announcements for the betterment of Indian Railways. In his Union Budget 2018 speech, the minister declared plans of Modi government to boost the Mumbai Local trains network.
The finance minister announced that a total allocation of Rs 11,000 crore will be spend by Modi government in order to add 90 kilometers of double line track of Mumbai local trains, which is the lifeline of the city. The Mumbai local train network which caters to more than 7.5 million passengers on daily basis is spread over 465 kilometers across Mumbai.
In addition to that, the finance minister in his Budget speech 2018 also announced that 150 kilometers of additional suburban is being planned at a whooping cost of over Rs 40,000 crore. This will also include elevated corridors on some sections. Also, a suburban network of approximately 160 kilometers is also being planned to boost the Bengaluru metropolis. The suburban network is estimated to cost around Rs 17,000 crore.
Watch Video: Railway Budget 2018: 10 things to make passengers happy
Other key aspects like Railway safety, redevelopment of railway stations, installation of CCTV cameras and Wifi across all railway stations and trains, Eastern and Western freight corridors, gauge conversion, doubling, bullet train project, Bullet train projects were mentioned by Arun Jaitley in the Union Budget speech 2018, which he presented in the parliament today.
The Fiscal budget 2018 is the second merged budget after 2017-18 under the Modi regime. The removal of presenting separate budgets bought many advantages for the national mode of transport. Due to this, Indian Railways saves itself from paying an annual dividend for gross budgetary support, which costs around Rs 10,000 crore. Capital charge has also been wiped off which used to increase the capital expenditure of the Railways. The overall size of the annual budget is increased which is a good sign for Indian economy. This has also benefited the parliament as the parliament saves time by considering only one single Appropriation Bill, instead of two Bills.