In a move to revive Indian Railways, one of India’s vital sectors, that faced massive financial losses amid the coronavirus pandemic Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman made huge announcements for the sector with big focus on the ‘green railways’ project and railway safety fund.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharman announced to provide ₹1.1 lakh crore for Indian Railways in FY22 in Union Budget 2021. Of total, ₹1.07 lakh crore of provision to Indian Railway in FY22 would be for capital expenditure, finance minister mentioned. Sitharaman also announced Rs 63,000 crore fund for Chennai Metro line.
Finance Minister mentioned the easten and western dedicated freight corridors will be commissioned by June 2022. A section of the dedicated freight corridors will be made on Public-Privarte Partnership mode.
Finance Minister said 100 electrification of broad gauge rail tracks by December 2023.
“Indian Railways have a National Rail Plan for 2030. Indian Railways to have refrigerated coaches capability in ‘kisan trains’ to carry perishables and milk.The government also proposes a Bengaluru suburban rail project at a cost of ₹18,600 crore.Next lot of airports to be privatized in tier 2 and 3 towns and cities,” said FM Sitharaman.
Notably, the Union Budget went paperless for the first time since Independence, due to COVID-19 pandemic. Every year, the Union Budget is printed in the finance ministry’s in house press, involving nearly 100 employees who have to stay together for nearly a fortnight till the time the papers are printed, sealed and delivered on the day of the Budget.