Railways gets Rs 70,000 cr in budget, salary remains headache

New Delhi (IANS) Railways has got a budgetary allocation of Rs 70,000 crore and the highest-ever outlay for capital expenditure amounting to Rs 1.61 lakh crore from Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in the Union Budget for 2020-21 presented on Saturday.

The capital expenditure of Rs 1.61 crore is higher than revised estimate of 2019-20 by 2.99 per cent.

Last year, the outlay for the railways was Rs 1.60 lakh crore while the Budget allocation was Rs 65,837 crore. In the 2020-21 Budget, funds of Rs 12,000 crore been allocated for construction of new lines, Rs 2,250 crore for gauge conversion, Rs 700 crore for doubling, Rs 5,786.97 crore for rolling stock and Rs 1,650 crore for signalling and telecom.

The allocation for rail passenger comfort this fiscal is Rs 2,725.63 crore from Rs 1,881.39 crore in the revised Budget presented in July last year. In the 2019-20 financial year, the budgetary allocation for railway passenger amenities was Rs 3,422.57 crore.

However, what will remain the Railways’ major headache would be its revenue expenditure which includes an estimated salary payout of Rs 92,993.07 crore, about Rs 6,000 crore more than last year.

The railways has kept a target of commissioning new new lines, gauge conversions and the doubling of board guage sections in 2020-21 to 3,750 kms against 3,150 kms in 2019-20

The officials said that the in 2020-21, electrification of 6,000 route kms has been targeted.

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