The ticket prices for passengers have already been raised by 14.2%, and the freight transport charges by 6%. So today’s railway budget’s focus will be mostly on the new projects, upgradations and policy changes with regard to railway functioning in the country. The possibility of allowing FDI particularly in high speed networks and dedicated freight corridors. Though the Home Ministry indicated reservations about FDI’s in sensitive regions of railway, the divestment focused NDA government is almost certain allow fresh blood to push Railway to new levels.
The Prime Minister recently commented why Railways cannot look as good as airports, indicating at significant face lift of India’s chief carrier. Plans have already been revealed to connect all state capitals with the national capital with high speed trains. Renewed focus on eastern zone is another priority area. Better facilities in AC travel are also on the anvil. Vajra Chaturbhuji network of high speed rails is another priority project.
The Telangana State may get some respite with regards to long pending rail projects. The big suspense is about the proposed coach factory, wagon factory at Kazipet. Making Kazipet a railway division is another big expectation from this budget.
The previous railway budget of Mallikarjuna Kharge was proposed with an estimate of 1.25 lakh crores.