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Rail Budget 2019 to focus on passenger safety, better amenities

Here is looking at the major announcements that the finance minister will make for Rail Budget 2019

Rail Budget 2019 to focus on passenger safety, better amenities

New Delhi: With a focus on better passenger amenities, passenger safety, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present Railway Budget 2019 on Friday (July 5).

The government had in 2017 discarded the 92-year-long tradition of presentation of a separate Rail Budget and instead made it part of the General Budget earmarking a few paragraphs on the public transporter's finance, projects and the road map for the next fiscal.

Here is looking at the major announcements that the finance minister will make for Rail Budget 2019

The operating ratio of the railways is expected to decline, if sources are to be believed. Sources told Zee Media that the operating ratio of the railways may decline improve to 95.5 – 96. The Railway Minister had set the operating ratio of the national transporter at 95 percent for FY 2019-20. However the lag in earning and mounting financial pressure may cast a negative spell on the transporter's operating ratio, sources said.

Government may also allocate Rs 5000 crore for Railway Safety fund.

The Ministry of Railways is also likely to reduce the capital expenditure (capex) target from Rs 1.58 lakh crore for the current fiscal to Rs 1.51 lakh crore. Capex is used for network expansion, signalling, upgrading and railway track maintenance.

Centre may also reduce the Gross Budgetary support for Railways for FY 2019-20 from Rs 64,587 crore to Rs 60,000.

Government may not announce any new rails during the upcoming Budget.

For providing better service and facilities to passengers, government may make further announcements regarding the basic infrastructure viz installation of lifts and escalator, station waiting area, LED lighting, public toilets etc.

Government may also make announcements regarding inviting private participation/players for better running of railways.