Rail Budget 2015: The financial implications
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Rail Budget 2015: The financial implications

Last Updated: Thursday, February 26, 2015, 16:30

Rail Budget 2015: The financial implications

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on Thursday presented his maiden Rail Budget for the fiscal year 2015-16 ruling out privatisation of the nation's economic lifeline and any hike in passengers' fare.

While he also ruled out any new trains, he emphasised on more investment in the railways and proposed a Plan Outlay of Rs 1,00,011 crore, an increase of 52 percent over RE 2014-15. It is anticipated that the Plan size will get higher once resources from institutional bodies are formalized during the course of the ensuing financial year.

Under the plan layout, a gross budgetary support of Rs 40,000 crore has been set for the Railway’s annual Plan while Rs 1,645.60 crore has also been provided as share of diesel cess from the Central Road Fund. Market borrowing under EBR has also been projected at Rs 17,655 crore, an increase of about 46.5 percent.

Balance Plan outlay includes Rs 17,793 crore from Internal Resources and Rs 5781 crore from PPP which means that the government is significantly allocating large amounts towards doubling, traffic facilities, electrification and passenger amenities.

Moreover, to ensure proper flow of funds for shelfed projects, Suresh Prabhu proposed a new financing approach to expand EBR (Institutional Finance) which would be based on institutional investments in railway projects through Railway/PSUs. This element is projected at Rs 17,136 crore and is aimed at accelerating completion of capacity augmentation projects.

Aiming high on investments, the railway minister pegged passenger earnings growth at 16.7 percent and target budgeted at Rs 50,175 crore. He further pegged freight traffic at an all time high incremental traffic of 85 million tonnes, anticipating a healthier growth in the core sector of economy; goods earnings proposed at Rs. 1,21,423 crore which includes rationalisation of rates, commodity classification and distance slabs.

Prabhu also projected other coaching and sundries at Rs 4,612 crore and Rs 7,318 crore. Gross Traffic Receipts estimated at Rs 1,83,578 crore, a growth of 15.3 percent.

The railway minister also proposed an appropriation of Pension Fund at Rs 35,260 crore and appropriation to DRF at Rs 8,100 crore. Appropriation of Rs 7,616 crore proposed to be made to Capital Fund for payment of principal component of lease charges to IRFC.

As for the financial performance of the fiscal year 2014-15, gross traffic receipts reduced by Rs 917 crore compared to the BE of Rs 1,60,165 crore while the growth in Ordinary Working Expenses (O.W.E) scaled down to 11.7 percent as against BE of 15.5 percent y-o-y.

Taking into account the likely savings accruing from drop in prices of HSD (high speed diesel) for traction partly offset by higher requirements under certain heads for maintenance, safety and cleanliness activities, the budgeted O.W. E. of Rs 1,12,649 crore decreased in the RE 2014-15 to Rs 1,08,970 crore i.e. by Rs 3,679 crore.

The government has also increased the appropriation to the Pension Fund to Rs. 29,540 crore in RE while internal resource generation also improved and accordingly the appropriation to DRF has been scaled up to Rs 7,975 crore in RE from the BE 2014-15 provision of Rs 7,050 crore.
After taking into account the above, "Excess" of receipts over expenditure stands at Rs 7,278 crore in RE 2014-15 reflecting better financial management.

Plan size for 2014-15 increased from Rs 65,445 crore in the B.E to Rs 65,798 crore in the Revised Estimates i.e. by Rs 353 crore with higher provisions under internal resource component and market borrowings for rolling stock requirement.

First Published: Thursday, February 26, 2015, 16:30

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