[AI] COMPLETE TEXT of railway budget 2008

Mamta mamtabc at accessindia.org.in
Tue Feb 26 13:42:52 EST 2008


Hello
Hope that this may be of help to some one..

COMPLETE TEXT

  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
burden
  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
the
  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
spirit
  displaying matchless zeal, vigour and teamwork. Sir, Lord Krishna was
acclaimed as Giridhar when in a moment of crisis he lifted Mount Govardhan
on his
  finger. However, he did this with the supporting hands of thousands of
fellow villagers.
  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
this
  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
made
  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
increased
  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
both
  freight earnings and gross traffic earnings up to December.  Based on the
growth registered so far, the revised estimates for Passenger, Other
coaching,
  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
up by
  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
effecting economy
  in expenditure. Under the accounting reforms process, losses on operation
of strategic lines, receiveable as a subsidy from the Ministry of Finance,
have
  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
Working
  Expenditure is likely to be Rs. 49,615cr. Interest received on Railways
fund  balances has   been included in Miscellaneous Receipts. Thus Railways'
Cash
  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
deferred
  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.
Sir,
  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
the
   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
in the
  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
enthusiasm,
  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
60 MT.
   Thus the incremental loading   of about 170 MT   achieved in the three
years of the UPA Government would exceed the total incremental loading of
the 1990's
  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
other,
  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
traffic.
   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
that
  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
cement
  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,
Railways
  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
container
  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
several
  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
and container
  operators with a view to develop and implement packages suited to
customer requirements.

  Triple Stack Container Train

  8.       Sir, after successful experimentation  of running double stack
container trains on diesel route, double stack container trains are now
running
  between Pipavav and Jaipur.  In   2007-08, efforts will be made to run
triple stack container trains with low height container  on diesel routes
and double
  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
mega power
  plants are being set up in the country.  We will provide necessary support
services for laying new lines up to their facilities, enhancing   capacity
of
  existing lines, making available wagons designed to suit their specific
requirements, formulation of pricing policy   and in   developing  loading
and
  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.
Railways has
  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
existing
  costs.

  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
have
  therefore decided to develop all basic facilities at freight terminals
handling more than 15 rakes per month, over the next three years.  A new
Plan sub
  head is being opened for expenditure on development and upgradation of
freight terminals  to ensure adequate provision  of funds for these works.
Various
  options will be explored to implement these projects including
entrusting these works to IRCON, KRCL or   through Public Private
Partnership.

  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
yield
  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
trains
  loaded in both directions and minimizing empty running of trains for
maintenance and examination and other such measures would have to be
simultaneously
  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
two
  stages.  Wagon examination and maintenance centres will be reorganized
to minimize empty running of trains. Several trains have wagons that  run
empty
  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
nearest
  depot.

  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
results.  Recently,
   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
25 tonne
  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
earnings
  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
freight
  trains comprising of such open and covered wagons will improve by 10 and
30% respectively, compared with existing trains. We have therefore decided
to
  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
design
    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
new
  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
compared
  to old wagons. To encourage the development of such new technology wagons,
a suitable  freight discounts policy will be evolved so that  benefits of
the
  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
driver
  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
provided
  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
trains
  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.
An integrated
  approach of route-wise  planning  and implementation  will be undertaken
to obtain full benefits from investment on these routes.   This network will
be
  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
line
  capacity of such routes will be undertaken by constructing second, third
or fourth lines. Distance between two sections will be reduced by installing
IBS
  and automatic signaling will be provided at both   ends of busy junction
stations   to enhance line capacity. For seamless and faster rail movement,
flyovers
  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
produced.
  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
Zonal Railway
  one SAG Officer will be nominated to attend to customer grievances and
directions will be given for disposal of all customer  complaints within
three months.
  At my level too, I have constituted a Freight Customers Co-ordination
Consultative Committee for all freight customers.

  Market Surveys

  19.     Railways earns ninety per cent of its freight business from
transportation of a few select commodities. With a view to broad base our
business and
  improve stability in the growth rate we would like to diversify and
increase the mix of carried commodities.     Every zonal railway will engage
an independent
  market survey agency to identify new traffic streams.

  Passenger Business

  20.     Sir, increasing passenger fares does not necessarily imply a
corresponding increase in earnings from trains, though earnings from
individual passengers
  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
earnings
  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
these reasons
  that despite reduction in fares, the losses in coaching business are
likely to decrease by several hundred crores in the current year.  Sir, we
have shown
  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
coaches
  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,
unreserved
  second class coaches in mail/express and ordinary passenger trains are
mostly provided with wooden seats without cushion. This causes inconvenience
to
  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
sleeper coaches.

  Sir,

  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
from
  this year in every newly introduced train, in place of four, six
unreserved second class coaches will be introduced. Alongside, excluding
fully air-conditioned
  AC and Jan Shatabdi trains, in existing trains also wherever possible,
efforts will be made to increase the number of unreserved second class
coaches.

  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
quota
  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
Service
  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
wider
  doors, wider cushioned seats, more aisle passage and specially designed
toilets for passengers on wheel-chair. So far we have manufactured 1250 such
coaches
  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
in the
  passenger trains, these vendors carry their milk cans and baskets
hanging from the windows.   Vendor coaches will be provided on sections
where transportation
  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
number
  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
services
  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
circumstances,
  several passengers with reservations do not travel. As a result many
berths remain vacant. Since this information is not fed into the PRS system,
passengers
  on board the trains or waitlisted passengers at ensuing stations are not
aware of the vacancy position. Therefore we have proposed to provide hand
held
  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
terminals.
  These terminals will be directly linked to the PRS system to transmit the
berth reservation position from   running trains to the PRS system.   Based
on
  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
Delhi-Dehradun
  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
available
  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
provided
  in premises of Post Offices and Defence organizations to be operated by
them. The scheme of booking reserved rail tickets on the internet  has
become extremely
  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
Governments,
  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
increased
  to 8000. Further, 6000 automatic ticket vending machines will be installed
in major cities and connected with the UTS terminals over the next two
years.
   Ticket would be available at the press of a button by using smart cards
or currency coins. The coupon ticketing system introduced for suburban
passengers
  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
internet
  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.
This
  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.
The
  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
coaches
  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,
decided
  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
night.
  To ensure better utilization of the rake links, we have decided to
increase the number of passenger trains having standard rake composition.
Last year,
  on a pilot basis, through revision in maintenance practices,   BPC of
passenger trains was given for 3500 kms  in place of 2500 kms.   This
system would
  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
facilities available
  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
similarly
  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.
The
  year 2007-08 will be observed as 'Cleanliness Year'.  During this year, a
special campaign will be launched to ensure cleanliness and hygiene at
station
  premises, in passenger trains, railway lines, waiting rooms etc.

Hope this helps
many thanks
regards
Mamta
business associate (TCS). 





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