Budget 2017: Railways to get Rs 1 lakh crore for safety on tracks

Budget 2017

Railways to get Rs 1 lakh crore for safety on tracks

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The government is looking to infuse Rs 1 lakh crore towards Rashtriya Rail Sanraksha Kosh (RRSK). This wish was long pending one, reported the Indian Express.

Finance Ministry has given the Railways Rs 55,000 crore for 2017-18 as Gross Budgetary Support. The first tranche of Rs 20,000 crore for the RRSK will be carved out of that, while the rest will be conventional capital expenditure, official sources told.

Out of the Rs 20,000 crore, Rs 15,000 crore will be for the RRSK. The Railways will have to come up with the remaining Rs 5,000 crore for the year from its own pocket.

The RRSK, too, will be used to clear the backlog of renewal of overaged assets, mostly tracks, signalling systems and bridges.

Railways sought Rs 60,000 crore as Gross Budgetary Support from the government for next year. The request was turned down, with the Finance Ministry initially agreeing to pay Rs 48,000 crore.

Railways seeks gross budgetary support of Rs 50,000 cr for FY’18

The Ministry of Railways has sought gross budgetary support (GBS) of Rs 50,000 crore for 2017-18, though the Finance Ministry is likely to agree for only Rs 40,000-45,000 crore, a senior government official said.

“They (Railways) have sought Rs 50,000 crore as GBS, and I think they might get Rs 40,000-45,000 crore…In fact, the railways does not have the capacity to absorb more than Rs 30,000 crore,” the official said.

Gross Budgetary Support (GBS) of Rs Rs 40,000 crore was announced in the 2015-16 Rail Budget. However, the Finance Ministry for the current year had slashed it to Rs 28,000 crore, citing slow spending pace.

Ending 92-year-old tradition, the government on September 21 decided to merge rail budget with the general budget and agreed in-principle to advance the date of its presentation in Parliament on February 1.

The government has also decided to do away with the Plan/ Non-Plan expenditure classification in Budget 2017-18 and replace it with ‘capital and receipt. Read more

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