The D day is finally here and finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman has come up with some big bang measures on Indian Railways that envisages it to become future-ready by 2030. In her speech, she has announced a package of Rs 1.15 lakh crore for the railways.
In terms of priorities, Sitharaman announced the commissioning of Eastern and Western Dedicated Freight Corridors and basically the whole idea is to bring down the cost of logistics to promote Atma Nirbhar Bharat. Both the corridors will be commissioned by June 2022.
She further announced that a section of the dedicated freight corridors will be made on Public-Private Partnership mode and railways will monetize dedicated freight corridors.
"We will work towards raising the share of public transport with an outlay of Rs 18,000 crore," she announced adding that 100% electrification of broad gauge rail tracks will be done by December 2023.
Sitharaman also said a national monetisation pipeline for potential brownfield infrastructure assets will be launched and pipelines of GAIL (India) Ltd, Indian Oil Corp (IOC) and HPCL will be monetized.
High-density rail networks and highly utilized rail routes to be provided with indigenously developed automatic train protection system which will eliminate train collision due to human error added Sitharaman.
The government also announced an Rs 18,000 crore scheme to augment public transport in urban areas.
Departing from the usual practice, the Finance Minister read out the Union Budget 2021-22 at the Parliament through a tab, instead of the traditional 'bahi khata'.