Highlights of interim railway budget 2014-15

Following are the highlights of the Interim Railway Budget 2014-15 presented in the Lok Sabha by Railway Minister Mallikarjun Kharge:

- No change in passenger fares and freight charges

- 72 new trains to be introduced: These include 17 premium trains, 38 express trains, 10 passenger trains, 4 MEMU and 3 DEMU

- Three trains will be extended and frequency of three other trains will be increased

- Proposed outlay of Rs.64,305 crore with a budgetary support of Rs.30,223 crore

- Gross traffic receipts targeted at Rs.1,60,775 crore with passenger earnings of Rs.45,255 crore, goods Rs.1,05,770 crore and other coaching and sundry earnings Rs.9,700 crore

- 19 new lines to be taken up for survey in fiscal 2014-15

- Surveys for doubling five existing lines will also be taken up during the year

- Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh to be brought on railway map

- Independent Rail Tariff Authority set up to advice on fares and freight

- Gross traffic receipts pegged at Rs.1,60,775 crore

- Working expenses pegged at Rs.1,10,649 crore, which is Rs.13,589 crore higher than the revised estimates for the current fiscal

- Freight earnings target set at Rs.94,000 crore. Loading target raised to 1,052 million tonnes

- Services on Udhampur-Katra section to start soon. It will take passengers to the foothills of Vaishno Devi shrine

- Allowing Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in railways is under consideration

- Emphasis on attracting higher investments from private sector

- Three new factories - Rail Wheel Plant in district Chhapra, Bihar; Rail Coach Factory at Rae Bareli in Uttar Pradesh; and Diesel Component Factory at Dankuni, West Bengal, have become functional and commenced production during 2013-14

- Operating ratio budgeted at 89.8 percent

- Fund balances pegged at Rs.12,728 crore

- Pension outgo budgeted at Rs.27,000 crore in 2014-15 against Rs.24,000 crore in the current fiscal

- Ordinary working expenses placed at Rs.1,10,649 crore, higher by Rs.13,598 crore from the current financial year

- An independent Rail Tariff Authority to be set up to advise the government on fixing fares and freight charges

- State governments of Karnataka, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, and Haryana have agreed to share cost of several rail projects in their respective areas

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