[AI] COMPLETE TEXT of railway budget 2008
mamtabc at accessindia.org.in
Tue Feb 26 13:42:52 EST 2008
Hope that this may be of help to some one..
PART-1: Performance for current year
Mr Speaker Sir,
Presenting my fourth consecutive Railway Budget, I have a tremendous sense
of pride and gratitude. Pride in the fact that without imposing undue
on the common man, the Railways are poised to create history by generating
a cash surplus before Dividend of Rs 20,000 cr as against Rs 14,700 cr in
previous year. This is the same Railway that defaulted on payment of
Dividend and whose fund balances dipped to Rs 359 cr in 2001.
I express heartfelt gratitude towards 14 lakh railway employees who in the
face of stiff competition have conquered all odds with an indomitable
displaying matchless zeal, vigour and teamwork. Sir, Lord Krishna was
acclaimed as Giridhar when in a moment of crisis he lifted Mount Govardhan
finger. However, he did this with the supporting hands of thousands of
Even though people are giving me the credit for the turnaround of the
Railways, with all humility I would like to share with the august House that
miracle has been brought about through the tireless efforts of 14 lakh
railway employees and unbounded affection and support of my country men.
Sir, I would just say:
Navajis hai sabki, karam hai sabhi ka,
Bade fakhra se ham bulandi par aaye.
Tarakki ke sare mayaron se aage,
Naye dhang laaye, nayee soch laaye.
2 By rendering an unprecedented surplus inspite of the reduction in
passenger fares, we have disproved the myth that Railways were sinking in to
a financial crisis due to social obligations. Our turnaround strategy
based on a perfect blend of commercial wisdom and empathy for the people has
the Railways a centre of attraction for the world :
Maana ki badi-badi baaten karna hamen nahin aaya,
Magar dil par badi kaarigari se naam likhte hain.
Financial Performance during the Current Year
3 Railways have turned in a record breaking performance during the
first nine months of the current year. Our Passenger earnings have
by 14 per cent and Other coaching earnings by 48 per cent during the
first nine months. A historic increase of 17 per cent was registered in
freight earnings and gross traffic earnings up to December. Based on the
growth registered so far, the revised estimates for Passenger, Other
Freight and Gross Traffic Earnings have been kept at Rs.17,400, 1,726,
42,299 and 63,120 cr respectively. Gross Traffic Earnings are likely to go
16 per cent in comparison with last year and exceed Budget Estimates by
5.5 per cent.
4 Ordinary Working Expenses have been contained in spite of
increase in the price of diesel and payment of bonus at higher rates by
in expenditure. Under the accounting reforms process, losses on operation
of strategic lines, receiveable as a subsidy from the Ministry of Finance,
been reflected as a deduction from Ordinary Working Expenses.
Accordingly, in Revised Estimates these have been increased by Rs 64 cr and
are pegged at
Rs.38,091 cr. After providing for Rs.4,108 cr and Rs.7,416cr towards
DRF and Pension Fund respectively in the Revised Estimates, the Total
Expenditure is likely to be Rs. 49,615cr. Interest received on Railways
fund balances has been included in Miscellaneous Receipts. Thus Railways'
Surplus before Dividend is expected to be Rs.20,063 crore; Net Revenue
Rs 14,870 cr and Surplus, after payment of Dividend of Rs.3,579 crore and
Dividend of Rs.663 crore, is expected to be Rs. 10,627 crore. In 2006-07
the Railways are poised to achieve an operating ratio of 78.7 per cent.
this is perhaps the first occasion in the glorious history of 150 years of
Indian Railways when our fund balances would reach Rs. 16,000 crores and
Net Revenue to Capital ratio, an historic level, of 20 per cent.
Indian Railways' name would thus be included in the select club of Railways
world, having an operating ratio of less than 80 per cent. However, we
should not be complacent with this achievement. Imbued with a new zeal and
Railway employees are eager to write a new saga of development:
Jitna ab tak dekh chuke ho, ye to bas shuruat hai.
Khel tamasha aage dekho, dariya dil saudagar ka.
Quantum jump in Freight Business
5. Our freight performance has been outstanding for the third
consecutive year and incremental loading this year is likely to be about
Thus the incremental loading of about 170 MT achieved in the three
years of the UPA Government would exceed the total incremental loading of
by 120 per cent. To maintain this rate of growth, we have on the one
hand, taken several steps to improve the availability of trains and on the
have adapted our policies to the needs of the market and customers.
Cement and Steel - Mission 200 Million Tonnes
6. Sir, since introduction of the New Economic Policy in the year
1991, Railways have been constantly losing share in cement and steel
As a result Railways' share in transportation of these commodities has
declined from two thirds in 1991 to one third. I am glad to inform the House
in the first nine months of this year we have increased our share in
transportation of cement and steel by five to seven percent. While the
and steel industry registered a growth rate of ten percent this year, our
cement and steel traffic have increased by twenty to thirty percent. This is
the result of market and customer oriented policies. Now we are focused on
Mission 200 Million Tonnes. We are hopeful that by the year 2011-12,
traffic from cement and steel industry will increase to 200 MT each.
Container Traffic - Mission 100 Million Tonnes
7. Sir, 15 licenses have been issued for the running of container
trains in the last two years. All out efforts will be made to increase our
traffic to 100 million tones by 2011-12, from the present 20 million
tonnes. We are confident that over the next five years, investment worth
thousand crores of rupees will flow in for the development of container
wagons, terminals and other related rail infrastructure.
A high level working group has been constituted to achieve these two
Missions, which will establish dialogue with the cement and steel industry
operators with a view to develop and implement packages suited to
Triple Stack Container Train
8. Sir, after successful experimentation of running double stack
container trains on diesel route, double stack container trains are now
between Pipavav and Jaipur. In 2007-08, efforts will be made to run
triple stack container trains with low height container on diesel routes
stack container trains on electrified routes on pilot basis. Such
containers would be useful for loading of motor vehicles.
Long Term Service Level Agreements
9. We have recently, signed a 30 year long term Service Level
Agreement (SLA) for transportation of coal. Several new cement, steel and
plants are being set up in the country. We will provide necessary support
services for laying new lines up to their facilities, enhancing capacity
existing lines, making available wagons designed to suit their specific
requirements, formulation of pricing policy and in developing loading
unloading terminals. We invite all entrepreneurs to enter into long term
SLA s with the Railways.
Merry Go Round System For Coal
10. Several companies, including NTPC, are operating their own MGR
Systems. New power plants are also planning setting up of MGR systems.
domain expertise in running these systems more efficiently and
economically. Therefore, we invite all existing and new companies to enter
into SLAs with
the Railways for the running of MGR s. We would like to assure them that
the Railways will transport their coal at costs that are lower than their
Development of Freight Terminals
11. There has been a significant increase in Railways traffic with
the commissioning of the warehouse complex in the Bangalore Goods shed. We
therefore decided to develop all basic facilities at freight terminals
handling more than 15 rakes per month, over the next three years. A new
head is being opened for expenditure on development and upgradation of
freight terminals to ensure adequate provision of funds for these works.
options will be explored to implement these projects including
entrusting these works to IRCON, KRCL or through Public Private
Improvement of NTKM to GTKM Ratio
12. Sir, for a payload of one tonne, Railways carry a tare weight of a
little less than a tonne. An improvement of one percent in this ratio would
an additional earning per annum of Rs 1500 cr. A multi pronged strategy of
increasing the payload and reducing the tare weight of trains, running
loaded in both directions and minimizing empty running of trains for
maintenance and examination and other such measures would have to be
adopted over the next few years to effect a 5 per cent improvement in
this ratio. All types of vacuum brake rolling stock will be eliminated in
stages. Wagon examination and maintenance centres will be reorganized
to minimize empty running of trains. Several trains have wagons that run
in both the directions. After implementation of FOIS, the numbers and
location of such wagons will be monitored to detach them for repair at the
Higher Axle Load Goods Trains
13. I am happy to inform the House that the pilot project of
introducing of 22.3 and 22.9 Tonne axle load trains has yielded good
25 T Axle load trains have also been run on pilot basis. In 2007-08 we
will extend running of 22.9 tonne axle load trains on several routes and
axle load trains on select other routes.
Wagons with better payload to tare weight ratio
14. Sir, Wagons are the bread winning horses of the Railways. An
increase of 10% in wagon productivity would lead to an annual incremental
of Rs.4000 crore for the Railways. We have earned several thousand crores
by improving the wagon turnaround time and enhancing per wagon payload. RDSO
has designed new covered and open wagons with a pay load to tare weight
ratio of 3 and above, fit for 22.9 T axle load. The carrying capacity of
trains comprising of such open and covered wagons will improve by 10 and
30% respectively, compared with existing trains. We have therefore decided
stop procurement of open and covered wagons of old design from 2007-08.
Production of 25 T axle load wagons and 22.9 T axle load wagons of new
will commence in 2007-08. Similarly, 22.9 T and 25 T Axle load wagons
suitable for steel and petroleum products will also be manufactured.
Manufacture of new design wagons by Wagon Manufacturers
15. Railways procure wagons based on RDSO' s designs. We have decided
to bring about a total change in this system. Now, wagon manufacturers will
be permitted to supply wagons of their own designs, with RDSO recommended
bogies, coupler, draft and brake gear. RDSO will certify and approve the
designs of wagons from the safety angle within 9 months. Sir, these higher
pay load lower tare weight wagons with new technology would be costlier
to old wagons. To encourage the development of such new technology wagons,
a suitable freight discounts policy will be evolved so that benefits of
new technology are shared by the Railways and investors. Detailed
guidelines in this regard will be issued early.
Arrangement of rolling stock maintenance
16. Sir, we have improved our loading with available resources through
better utilization of existing rolling stock. Through rationalization of
and loco links over the last two years, we have been able to spare more
than 250 engines for running other trains. World class facilities will be
at all train examination points where more than 5 goods trains are
examined per day. The target for 2007-08 would be to cover most air brake
under the system of premium CC or premium end to end examination. We have
decided to make unit exchange spares based maintenance arrangements for all
types of rolling stock. This would bring about significant improvement in
the productivity of rolling stock.
Throughput enhancement works
17. Sir, speedy expansion of capacity on the 20,000 kms long
high-density network is imperative to maintain the present rate of growth.
approach of route-wise planning and implementation will be undertaken
to obtain full benefits from investment on these routes. This network will
made capable for running 23T axle load trains and mineral routes would be
upgraded for running of 25T axle load trains. Need based enhancement in
capacity of such routes will be undertaken by constructing second, third
or fourth lines. Distance between two sections will be reduced by installing
and automatic signaling will be provided at both ends of busy junction
stations to enhance line capacity. For seamless and faster rail movement,
and by-passes etc. will be constructed at busy junction stations and yard
designs will be modified to avoid cross movement of the trains. High speed
turnouts with a speed of 30 km per hour will be laid on such routes. In
2007-08, 200 each diesel and electric locomotives and 11,000 wagons will be
Adequate funds provision would be made for throughput enhancement works.
Complaint Redressal Mechanism
18. Sir, most rail customers complain more about the quality of our
service rather than our tariff. We have therefore decided that on every
one SAG Officer will be nominated to attend to customer grievances and
directions will be given for disposal of all customer complaints within
At my level too, I have constituted a Freight Customers Co-ordination
Consultative Committee for all freight customers.
19. Railways earns ninety per cent of its freight business from
transportation of a few select commodities. With a view to broad base our
improve stability in the growth rate we would like to diversify and
increase the mix of carried commodities. Every zonal railway will engage
market survey agency to identify new traffic streams.
20. Sir, increasing passenger fares does not necessarily imply a
corresponding increase in earnings from trains, though earnings from
may go up. In the current year by inducting 700 additional coaches in
popular trains, we have facilitated travel of more people and increased the
of the Railways. Our policy of licensing of parcel and catering services
through open tender has also borne good results. In 2006-07, there has been
an increase of 48% in other coaching earnings and it is likely that
earnings from catering license fee will increase to Rs. 120 cr. It is for
that despite reduction in fares, the losses in coaching business are
likely to decrease by several hundred crores in the current year. Sir, we
that one can earn even while serving the common people, by playing the
volume game. Continuing this approach in 2007-08 we will add another 800
in popular trains.
Provision of cushioned seats in unreserved passenger coaches
21. Sir, I am well acquainted with the travails and difficulties faced
by passengers traveling in unreserved second class coaches. Presently,
second class coaches in mail/express and ordinary passenger trains are
mostly provided with wooden seats without cushion. This causes inconvenience
the passengers in sitting. Therefore, we have decided that from 2007-08,
production of wooden seats will be stopped. In future, cushioned seats will
be manufactured for unreserved second class coaches as is the case for
Baat main kaayade ki karta hun, desh ke fayade ki karta hun.
Jis tarah ped saya deta hai, har musafir ka dhyan rakhta hun.
Provision of additional ordinary general coaches
22. The common people have to travel in suffocating crowds due to
paucity of unreserved second class coaches. Therefore, we have decided that
this year in every newly introduced train, in place of four, six
unreserved second class coaches will be introduced. Alongside, excluding
AC and Jan Shatabdi trains, in existing trains also wherever possible,
efforts will be made to increase the number of unreserved second class
Facility of reservation of lower berth for senior citizens and ladies
23. Senior citizens and ladies face considerable inconvenience when
they are allotted upper or middle berths. Therefore, I have decided that a
of adequate lower berths will be provided in AC and Sleeper classes for
senior citizens and women above the age of 45, traveling alone.
Concession for students
24 Sir, while presenting the budget 2004-05 and 2005-06, I had
announced concessions for unemployed youth appearing for interviews for
jobs in Central
and State Government exams. It is now proposed to give 50% concession to
students appearing in the main written examination conducted by Union Public
Commission and Central Staff Selection Commissions.
Special coaches for handicapped passengers
25. We have manufactured SLRD and SRD coaches for the convenience of
handicapped passengers. These specially designed coaches are equipped with
doors, wider cushioned seats, more aisle passage and specially designed
toilets for passengers on wheel-chair. So far we have manufactured 1250 such
and it is planned to introduce such coaches in all Mail and Express trains
over the next 2 years.
Introduction of Vendors' Coaches
26. Milk and vegetable vendors and other retail sellers transport
milk, fruits and vegetables by trains. Due to absence of earmarked space
passenger trains, these vendors carry their milk cans and baskets
hanging from the windows. Vendor coaches will be provided on sections
of these commodities through passenger trains is common.
Introduction of train enquiry call centre
27. From June to September 2007, train enquiry call centres will start
functioning in all four regions of the country. By dialing the telephone
139, passengers will be able to obtain information about arrival and
departure of trains, seat availability etc. at local call rates from any
part of the
country. Sir, in these call centres international level facilities like
SMS alert will be provided In future call centres will provide several
like Railway Ticketing, Taxi Booking, Hotel Booking etc.
Provision of Hand held Computer Terminals for TTE
28 Under the existing PRS system, reservation charts are taken out a
few hours before the departure of trains. Often, due to unforeseen
several passengers with reservations do not travel. As a result many
berths remain vacant. Since this information is not fed into the PRS system,
on board the trains or waitlisted passengers at ensuing stations are not
aware of the vacancy position. Therefore we have proposed to provide hand
computer terminals to TTEs, in reserved coaches. The TTE will feed in the
current vacancy position, coach wise and berth wise in to these hand held
These terminals will be directly linked to the PRS system to transmit the
berth reservation position from running trains to the PRS system. Based
this information the PRS will allot vacant berths to waitlisted passengers
at ensuing stations. Hand held terminals will be made available to the TTEs
as a pilot project on four pairs of trains next year. These would include
three Shatabdi Express Trains running between New Delhi-Amritsar, New
and New Delhi-Ajmer and Golden Temple Express.
Distribution of Reserved Tickets
29 More than 5 lakhs reserved tickets are issued every day from 3000
PRS counters in nearly 1300 reservation centres. PRS facility will be made
at all Group D stations and some Group E stations through PRS counters or
PRS-cum UTS counters over the next two years. PRS counters will also be
in premises of Post Offices and Defence organizations to be operated by
them. The scheme of booking reserved rail tickets on the internet has
popular. To expand the outreach of reserved railway ticketing in all parts
of the country, e-tickets will be issued through e-seva of State
Post Offices, petrol pumps and ATMs of Banks.
Unreserved Ticket Distribution
30. At present there are nearly 2200 computerised UTS counters in the
country. Over the next two years the number of such counters will be
to 8000. Further, 6000 automatic ticket vending machines will be installed
in major cities and connected with the UTS terminals over the next two
Ticket would be available at the press of a button by using smart cards
or currency coins. The coupon ticketing system introduced for suburban
in Mumbai, has gained popularity. We will try to introduce this system in
Chennai and Kolkata also. In order make the scheme of MST renewal through
popular, it has been decided to provide this service free of cost. In the
next year, Central Railway will undertake a pilot project of issuing tickets
through multi-purpose smart cards. Under this scheme customers will have
the facility to obtain MST as well as daily ticket on the same smart card.
card could be bought and recharged from different places in the city.
These cards would be readable on touch, by the hand held terminals of TTEs.
scheme will be expanded after the success of the pilot projects.
These measures undertaken over the next two years would
alleviate to a large extent the problem of long queues at ticket counters.
Increase in capacity of passenger coaches
31 Sir, Innovation is not only an invention or discovery. Using new
methodologies in daily processes is also innovation. We have designed
with new layouts, having significantly higher capacity than the previous
coaches. The capacity of sleeper coaches has been increased from 72 to 84,
AC Chair Car from 67 to 102, AC 3 Tier from 64 to 81, AC 2 Tier from 46 to
48 and AC 1st from 18 to 22. I have myself visited the Rail Coach Factory,
Kapurthala and inspected these newly designed coaches. These coaches will
be convenient and comfortable for the passengers. We have, therefore,
to start the production of these new design coaches from 2007-08.
Rakes with standard composition
32 Due to absence of standard composition for passenger trains,
several trains reach the destination in the morning and remain standing till
To ensure better utilization of the rake links, we have decided to
increase the number of passenger trains having standard rake composition.
on a pilot basis, through revision in maintenance practices, BPC of
passenger trains was given for 3500 kms in place of 2500 kms. This
be expanded further in 2007-08. These two decisions will result in
considerable increase in availability of coaches.
Passenger Amenities at Stations
33 Sir, last year I had announced that within the next two years
people will observe a perceptible improvement in the get-up and
at all major stations. According to this announcement, we had started the
work of developing five railway stations as model stations in each division.
I am happy to inform the House that this work will be completed at 225
such stations by March 2007. Taking this programme further we will
develop another 300 stations this year.
Cleanliness Year- 2007
34 Sir, celebrating the year 2006 as the year of customer service
with a smile we have tried to improve passenger amenities at stations.
year 2007-08 will be observed as 'Cleanliness Year'. During this year, a
special campaign will be launched to ensure cleanliness and hygiene at
premises, in passenger trains, railway lines, waiting rooms etc.
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