Railway Budget 2013 Highlights: No hike in passenger fares, but travel cost to go up
New Delhi: Union Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal on Tuesday announced while presenting the Rail Budget 2013-14 in Lok Sabha that passenger fares would not be hiked any further this year. Bansal stressed on safety and announced that a next generation e-ticketing system would be in place by the end of this calendar year.
Bansal is the first Congress minister in 17 years to present the Rail Budget.
Cash-strapped Railways had effected an across the board 21 percent passenger fare hike in January this year, aiming to mop up an additional revenue of Rs 6,600 crore.Rail Budget 2013: How it will hit Aam Aadmi Railway Budget 2013: Full textRail Budget 2013-14: List of new trainsHIGHLIGHTS OF THE RAILWAY BUDGET - 2013-14Fares and Freight
- No hike in passenger fares
- Proposal for setting up of Railway Tariff Regulatory Authority formulated and at inter-ministerial consultation stage
- Fuel Adjustment Component (FAC) linked revision for freight tariff to be implemented from 1st April 2013
- Supplementary charges for super fast trains, reservation fee, clerkage charge, cancellation charge and tatkal charge marginally increased
- Enhanced reservation fee abolished
- ‘Aadhar’ to be used for various passenger and staff related services.
- Internet ticketing from 0030 hours to 2330 hours.
- e-ticketing through mobile phones.
- Project of SMS alerts to passengers providing updates on reservation status.
- Covering larger number of trains under Real Time Information System.
- Next-Gen e-ticketing system to be rolled out capable of handling 7200 tickets per minute against 2000 now & 1.20 lakh users simultaneously against 40,000 now.
Metropolitan Projects/Sub-urban Services
- 67 new Express trains to be introduced
- 26 new passenger services, 8 DEMU services and 5 MEMU services to be introduced
- Run of 57 trains to be extended
- Frequency of 24 trains to be increased
Passenger/Rail Users’ Amenities
- Introduction of first AC EMU rake on Mumbai suburban network in 2013-14
- Introduction of 72 additional services in Mumbai and 18 in Kolkata
- Rake length increased from 9 cars to 12 cars for 80 services in Kolkata and 30 services in Chennai
Measures for improving Safety & Security
- Identification of 104 important stations for immediate attention to all aspects related to cleanliness.
- Progressive extension of bio-toilets on trains.
- Provision of concrete aprons on platforms with mechanized cleaning facilities.
- Extension of On Board Housekeeping Scheme and Clean Train Stations to more stations and trains.
- Extension of Unreserved Ticketing System (UTS), Automatic Ticket Vending Machines (ATVMs), Coin- operated Ticket Vending Machines (CO-TVMs) and schme of Jan-Sadharan Ticket Booking Sevaks (JTBSs).
- Setting up of six more Rail Neer bottling plants at Vijayawada, Nagpur, Lalitpur, Bilaspur, Jaipur and Ahmedabad.
- Pilot project on select trains to facilitate passengers to contact on board staff through SMS/phone call/e-mail for coach cleanliness and real time feedback.
- 8-10 more mechanized laundries for quality washing of linen.
- Provision of announcement facility and electronic display boards in trains.
- Providing free Wi-Fi facilities on several trains.
- Upgrading another 60 stations as Adarsh Stations in addition to 980 already selected.
- Associate voluntary organizations for providing first aid services at railway stations.
- Introduction of an ‘Anubhuti’ coach in select trains to provide excellent ambience and latest facilities and services.
- 179 escalators and 400 lifts at A-1 and other major stations to be installed facilitating elderly and differently abled.
- Affixing Braille stickers with layout of coaches including toilets, provision of wheel chairs and battery operated vehicles at more stations and making coaches wheel-chair friendly.
- Some JTBS to be reserved for disabled people.
- Curbing malpractices in reserved tickets including tatkal scheme.
- Third party audit and tie up with food testing laboratories for food quality control; ISO certified state-of-the-art base kitchens to be set up in railway premises.
- Centralized Catering Services Monitoring Cell set up with a toll free number (1800 111 321) Rail Tourism
Rail Based Industries
- Making a Corporate Safety Plan for a ten year period (2014-2024).
- Elimination of 10797 level crossings during the 12th Plan and no addition of new LCs to the IR system henceforth.
- Introduction of Train Protecti on Warning System on Automatic Signalling Systems.
- Rigorous trials of the indigenously developed Train Collision Avoidance System
- Using 60 kg rails, 260 meter long welded rail panels and improved flash butt welding technology.
- Introduction of 160/200 kmph Self Propelled Accident Relief Trains.
- Induction of crash worthy LHB coaches with anti-climb feature.
- Rehabilitation of identified 17 distressed bridges over next one year.
- Provision of comprehensive fire and smoke detection systems.
- Provision of portable fire extinguishers in Guard-cum-Brake Vans, AC Coaches and Pantry Cars in all trains.
- Use of fire retardant furnishing materials in coaches.
- Measures initiated to deal with elephant related accidents.
- Four companies of women RPF personnel set up and another 8 to be set up to strengthen the security of rail passengers, especially women passengers.
- Recruitment to RPF with 10% vacancies reserved for women.
- New factories/workshops to be set up: a new Forged Wheel Factory at Rae Bareli in collaboration with Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited.
- a Greenfield Mainline Electrical Multiple Units (MEMU) manufacturing facility at Bhilwara (Rajasthan) in collaboration with State Government and BHEL.
- a Coach Manufacturing Unit in S onepat District (Haryana) in collaboration with State Government.
- a Midlife Rehabilitation Workshop at Kurnool (Andhra Pradesh) in collaboration with the State Government.
- Bikaner and Pratapgarh workshops to undertake POH of BG wagons.
- a workshop for repair and rehabilitation of motorized bogies at Misrod (Madhya Pradesh).
- a new wagon maintenance workshop in Kalahandi (Odisha).
- a modern signaling equipment facility at Chandigarh through PPP route.
- Setting up of Railway Energy Management Company (REMC) to harness potential of solar and wind energy.
- Setting up of 75 MW capacity windmill plants and energizing 1000 level crossings with solar power.
- Deployment of new generation energy efficient electric locomotives and EMUs.
- More usage of agro-based and recycled paper and ban use of plastic incatering.
Financial Performance 2012-13
- Launching multi-modal travel package in cooperation with Jammu & Kashmir state government.
- Issuing ‘Yatra Parchis’ to pilgrims travelling by rail to Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine at the time of railway ticket booking.
- Introduction of an educational tourist train with concessional fares -‘Azadi Express’ – to connect places associated with freedom movement.
- Introduction of executive lounge at 7 more stations, namely, Bilaspur, Visakhapatnam, Patna, Nagpur, Agra, Jaipur and Bengaluru.
Budget Estimates 2013-14
- Loading target revised to 1007 MT against 1025 MT in BE.
- Gross Traffic Receipts fixed at 1,25,680 cr in RE, short by 6,872 cr over Budget Estimates.
- Ordinary Working Expenses retained at BE level of 84,400 cr; pension payments increased by 1,500 cr to 20,000 cr.
- Dividend liability to government to be fully discharged.
- ‘Excess’ of 10,409 cr as against the budget amount of 15,557 cr.
- Loan of 3,000 cr taken in 2011-12 fully repaid along with interest.
- Operating Ratio of 88.8% as compared to 94.9% in 2011-12.
Annual Plan 2013-14
- Freight loading of 1047 MT, 40 MT more than 2012-13.
- Passenger growth - 5.2%.
- Gross Traffic Receipts -1,43,742 cr i.e. an increase of 18,062 cr over RE, 2012-13.
- Ordinary Working Expenses -96,500 cr.
- Appropriation to DRF at 7,500 cr and to Pension Fund at 22,000 cr.
- Dividend payment estimated at 6,249 cr.
- Operating Ratio to be 87.8%.
- Fund Balances to exceed 12,000 cr.
- Highest ever plan outlay of 63363 cr
- Gross Budgetary Support -26,000 cr
- Railway Safety Fund - 2,000 cr
- Internal Resources - 14,260 cr
- EBR - Market Borrowing - 15,103 cr
- EBR - PPP - 6,000 cr
- 500 km new lines, 750 km doubling, 450 km gauge conversion targeted in 2013-14
- No supplementary Demands for Grants introduced in Monsoon Session or Winter Session of Parliament
- Loan of 3,000 cr repaid fully
- 347 projects prioritized with assured funding
- Operationally important projects and also last mile projects to receive liberal funding
- A new fund – Debt Service Fund – set up to meet committed liabilities
- Stringent targets for efficiencies in maintenance of rolling stock and fuel consumption
- Target to create fund balance of 30,000 cr in the terminal year of the 12th Plan
Training and Recruitment
- Fund allocation for staff quarters enhanced to Rs 300 cr
- Provision of hostel facilities for single women railway employees at all divisional headquarters
- Extending treatment facility in case of medical emergency to RELHS beneficiaries to all cities in hospitals empanelled with CGHS and Railways
- Condition of barracks to be improved for RPF personnel
- Provision of water closets and air conditioners in the locomotive cabs to avoid stress being faced by loco pilots
- 1.52 lakh vacancies being filled up this year out of which 47000 vacancies have been earmarked for weaker sections and physically challenged
- Imparting skills to the youth in railway related trades in 25 locations
- Setting up of a multi-disciplinary training institute at Nagpur for training in rail related electronics technologies
- Setting up of a centralized training institute at Secunderabad – Indian Railways Institute of Financial Management (IRIFM)
- Five fellowships in national universities to be instituted to motivate students to study and undertake research on IR related issues at M.Phil and Ph.D. levels
- Setting up of a chair at TERI promoting railway related research to reduce carbon footprint
- Railway Teams won 9 National Championships in 2012
- Railway Sports Promotion Board awarded the ‘Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puraskar – 2012’
- Complimentary card passes to recipients of Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna & Dhyan Chand Awards to be valid for travel by 1 st Class/2nd AC
- Complimentary card passes to Olympic Medalists and Dronacharya
- Awardees for travel in Rajdhani/Shatabadi Trains
- Travel by Duronto Trains permitted on all card passes issued to sportpersons having facility of travel by Rajdhani/Shatabadi Trains
- Facility of complimentary card passes valid in 1st class/2nd AC extended to parents of posthumous unmarried awardees of Mahavir Chakra, Vir Chakra, Kirti Chakra, Shaurya Chakra, President’s Police Medal for Gallantry and Police Medal for Gallantry
- Police Gallantry awardees to be granted one complimentary pass every year for travel along with one companion in 2nd AC in Rajdhani/Shatabadi Trains
- Passes for freedom fighters to be renewed once in three years
- IR enters the one billion tonne Select Club joining Chinese, Russian and US Railways;
- IR also joins Select Club running freight trains of more than 10000 tonne load;
- ‘Fuel Adjustment Component’ concept to be implemented linking tariffs with movement of fuel prices;
- Target of Rs 1000 crore each fixed for Rail Land Development Authority and IR Station Development Corporation to be raised through PPP in2013-14;
- New fund – Debt Service Fund – to be set up to meet committed liabilities of debt servicing for WB and JICA loans for DFC and other future liabilities.
First Published: Tuesday, February 26, 2013, 08:20