The Indian Railways may get a 15-20 per cent higher allocation for the next fiscal, over last year's outlay of Rs 2.15 lakh crore, according to sources. The higher allocation would go into spending on new trains, ramped up infrastructure and passenger facilities.
The last Budget had allocated Rs 2.15 lakh crore to the Railways. Of this, Rs 1.07 lakh crore came from gross budgetary support (GBS), Rs 1 lakh crore from extra-budgetary resources and another Rs 7,500 crore came from internal resources. The GBS is the amount allocated by the government in the general Budget for the Indian Railways. It is expected to rise by Rs 18,000 to Rs 20,000 crore in the coming year.
The higher funding will in part be used for creating a 'future ready' railway system, as per the National Rail Plan that aims for overall long term development of the Indian Railways network. The completion of the dedicated freight corridor projects, indigenously developed automatic train protection systems will also receive a fillip as a result.
The Budget may also announce a focus on developing a hyperloop and trains on hydrogen and biofuels to reduce carbon emissions. The government has set a target of becoming the world's first 100 per cent green railway with net-zero emission by 2030.
Also on the anvil are further measures to boost freight traffic from small and medium businesses, especially small cargo firms, so as to increase the Indian Railway's share in total cargo movement across the country beyond the present 28 per cent.
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