With Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman set to present her second Union Budget soon, Indian Railways is once again expecting to see highest-ever outlay for capital expenditure of Rs 1.70-1.75 lakh crore. The national transporter had received capex of Rs 1.60 lakh crore in Budget 2019-20, and Rs 1.48 lakh crore in Budget 2018-19.
Capital expenditure, or capex, is a corpus of funds used by a company to purchase, upgrade and maintain physical assets such as land, building, machinery, technology, etc. Indian Railways will require an investment of Rs 50 lakh crore between 2018 and 2030 for upgrading its infrastructure. In line with this plan, the budgetary allocation to Indian Railways is expected to increase this year to more than Rs 70,000 crore, as opposed to Rs 65,837 crore in the previous year. The same for previous year was Rs 55,088 crore.
FULL COVERAGE:Union Budget 2020
The funds allocated in the Budget would most likely be utilised for modernising the signalling system, constructing new tracks, acquiring new rolling stock and developing railways' telecom network. New premium trains like Tejas Express and Vande Bharat Express could also be rolled out.
Since long, Railway Ministry has been focussing on making train journeys safer as well as reduce deaths due to unmanned crossings. The biggest transporter in the country has also been working on asset monetisation plans to fund its expenditure.
Before 2016, Railway and General Budgets used to be presented separately. On September 21, 2016, Modi government ended the 92-year-old tradition and approved merging the two Budgets. Following this, from 2017, the two Budgets were presented on the same day.