Last Updated: Thursday, February 25, 2016

Key Highlights of the Railway Budget 2016-17

Highlights of the Railway Budget 2016-17

25 Feb 2016 02:04 PM
Theme of the Budget
Overcoming challenges – Reorganize, Restructure Rejuvenate Indian Railways: ‘Chalo, Milkar Kuch Naya Karen’
Three pillars of the strategy i.e. Nav Arjan New revenues, Nav Manak – New norms, NavSanrachna – New Structures.

Financial Performance
  • 2015-16- Savings of Rs. 8,720 croreneutralizing most of the revenueshortfall, expected OR 90%;
  • 2016-17- Targeted Operating Ratio (OR)92%, restrict growth of OrdinaryWorking Expenses by 11.6% afterbuilding in immediate impact of 7th  PC,reductions planned in diesel and electricity consumption,  Revenuegeneration targeted  at Rs.  1,84,820crore.
Investments and Resources
  • Process bottlenecks overhauledincluding delegation of powers tofunctional levels; average capital expenditure over 2009-14 is Rs. 48,100crore, average growth of 8% per annum.
  • 2015-16 investment would be close todouble of the average of previous 5years.
  • 2016-17 CAPEX pegged at Rs. 1.21 lakh crore; implementation through jointventures with states, developing newframeworks for PPP, etc.
By 2020, long-felt desires of the common man to be fulfilled i.e, reserved accommodation ontrains available on demand, time tabledfreight trains,  high end technology toimprove  safety record, elimination of allunmanned level crossings, improvedpunctuality, higher average speed of freighttrains, semi high speed trains running alongthe golden quadrilateral, zero direct dischargeof human waste.


Action initiated on 139 budgetannouncements of 2015-16.

Project execution
2015-16 - assured funding through LIC;commissioning of 2,500 kms Broad Gaugelines; commissioning of 1,600 kms ofelectrification, highest ever. In 2016-17  -targeted commissioning 2,800 kms of track;commissioning Broad Gauge lines @ over 7kms per day against an average of about 4.3kms per day in the last 6 years. Wouldincrease to about 13 kms per day in 2017-18and 19 kms per day in 2018-19; will generateemployment of about 9 crore man days in 2017-18 and 14 crore man days in 2018-19.Outlay for railway electrification increased in 2016-17 by almost 50%; target to electrify2,000 kms.

Dedicated Freight Corridor
Almost all contracts for civil engineering works to be awarded by March 31st 2016; Rs.24,000 crore contracts awarded sinceNovember 2014 as against Rs. 13,000 crorecontracts awarded in last 6 years; propose totake up North-South, East-West & East Coastfreight corridors through innovative financingincluding PPP.

Port connectivity
Tuna Port commissioned and rail connectivity projects to ports of Jaigarh, Dighi, Rewas andParadip under implementation;implementation of rail connectivity for theports of Nargol and Hazira under PPP in2016-17.

North East
BG Lumding-Silchar section in Assam openedthus connecting Barak Valley with rest of thecountry; Agartala brought on to the BGnetwork. States of Mizoram and Manipurshortly to come on BG map of the country with commissioning of the Kathakal-Bhairabiand Arunachal-Jiribam Gauge Conversion projects.

Jammu and Kashmir

Work on Katra-Banihal section of Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla Rail Link Projectprogressing satisfactorily- 35  kms oftunnelling out of total of 95  kms completed;Decongestion work on Jalandhar - Jammuline in full swing and doubling of two bridgesto be commissioned by March 2016, while theother two bridges will be completed by 2016-17.
Make  in  India:  Finalised  bids  for  two  loco factories;  proposed  to  increase  the  currentprocurement of train sets by 30%.

Capacity Building for the future through:
Transparency – initiated recruitments online in 2015-16,  process  now  being replicated for all positions, social media being used as a tool to bring in transparency, all procurementincluding procurement of works moved to thee-platform, completed trial of process leadingto award of tender electronically and to berolled out on a Pan- India basis in 2016-17.
Governance delegation led to compressionof project sanction time to 6-8 months from 2years earlier, key result areas identified tojudge performance of GMs and DRMs,performance related MOUs signed with fewZones, to be replicated for all zones.
Internal audit measures specialised teamsmandated to screen railway operations inspecific areas to detect inefficiencies andprevent wastages, every zone preparing 2 reports by March 31, 2016.
Partnerships – Cabinet approval for JVs withState Governments, 17 consented and 6MOUs signed with State Governments. 44new partnership works covering about 5,300kms and valuing about Rs. 92,714 crore havebeen indicated in the Budget documents.

Customer Interface

Interaction and feedback through socialmedia & dedicated IVRS system.

Making travel comfortable by generating over65,000  additional  berths,  installing 2,500water vending machines; introducingMahamana Express’ with modern refurbishedcoaches; 17,000 bio-toilets in trains; world’sfirst Bio-Vacuum toilet developed.

Improving punctuality – operations audit forGhaziabad to Mughalsarai section.
Ticketing: Introduced 1,780 Automatic TicketVending Machines, mobile apps & GoIndiasmartcard for cashless purchase of UTS andPRS tickets, enhanced capacity of e-ticketingsystem from 2,000 tickets per minute to 7,200tickets per minute and to support 1,20,000concurrent users as against only 40,000earlier.

Social initiatives: One-time registration foravailing concessions while booking ticketsonline, online booking of wheelchairs & Brailleenabled new coaches introduced for theDivyang, increased quota of lower berths for senior citizens and women, middle baysreserved in coaches for women.

Wi-Fi provided in 100 stations, to be providedin 400 more.

Stations being redeveloped – financial bidreceived for Habibganj, Bhopal; Cabinetapproval for stations to be taken up underPPP.
Security through helplines & CCTVs.

Safety - 350 manned level crossings closed,eliminated 1,000 unmanned level crossings,820 ROB/RUB completed in the current yearand work going on in 1,350 of them.

Other major achievements

Energy: annualized savings of Rs. 3,000 crore to be achieved in the next financial year itself,year earlier than announced; achieved byprocuring power directly at competitive rates using IR’s status as Deemed DistributionLicensee.

Rail University – initially identified the National Academy of Indian Railways at Vadodara.

Digital India: application of Track ManagementSystem (TMS) launched, inventorymanagement module of TMS has resulted in inventory reduction by 27,000 MT resulting insaving of Rs.64 crore and scrap identificationof 22,000 MT equivalent to Rs.53 crore.

The Way Ahead

mproving quality of travel

For the unreserved passenger 

Antyodaya Express unreserved, superfastservice.

Deen Dayalu coaches – unreserved coacheswith potable water and higher number ofmobile charging points.

For the reserved passenger –

Humsafar - fully air-conditioned third ACservice with an optional service for meals

Tejas - will showcase the future of train travelin India. Will operate at speeds of 130 kmph and above.Will offer onboard services such asentertainment, local cuisine, Wi- Fi, etc.through one service provider for ensuringaccountability and improved customersatisfaction

Humsafar and Tejas to ensure cost recoverythrough tariff and non-tariff measures

UDAY overnight double-decker, UtkrishtDouble-Decker Air-conditioned Yatri Expresson the busiest routes, has the potential toincrease carrying capacity by almost 40%.

Ticketing: Sale of tickets through hand heldterminals; e- ticketing facility to foreigndebit/credit cards; bar coded tickets, scannersand access control on a pilot basis.Expansion of Vikalp – train on demand toprovide choice of accommodation in specifictrains to wait-listed passengers. E-booking oftickets facility on the concessional passesavailable to journalists; facility of cancellationthrough the 139 helpline post verificationusing ‘One Time Password’ sent on registeredphone number, to improve tatkaal servicesCCTV cameras on windows and periodic auditof PRS website.

Cleanliness -Clean my Coach’ service through SMSranking of A1 and A stations based onperiodic third party audit and passengerfeedback; waste segregation and recyclingcentres; Awareness campaigns’additional30,000 bio-toilets; providing portablestructures with bio- toilets at all platforms ofselect stations for senior citizens, Divyang andwomen travellers, plan to explore innovativemeans of providing and maintaining toilets such as advertisement rights, CSR, voluntarysupport from social organizations.

Catering and stalls at stations -IRCTC tomanage catering services in a phasedmanner; explore possibility of making catering services optional, adding 10 moreIRCTC operated base kitchens; to build localownership and empowerment, weightage will be given to district domicile holders forcommercial licenses at stations.

Stoppages: convert all operational halts intocommercial halts for the benefit of the common man.

Rail Mitra Sewa: expanding Sarathi Seva inKonkan Railway to help the old and disabledpassengers, strengthening the existingservices for enabling passengers to book battery operated cars, porter services, etc. onpaid basis in addition to the existing pick upand drop, and wheel chair services.

Measures for Divyang: all stations underredevelopment accessible by Divyang; toprovide at least one Divyang friendly toilet ateach platform in A1 class stations during the next financial year and also ensure availabilityof wheelchairs in sufficient numbers at thesestations.

Travel Insurance to passengers - to offeroptional travel insurance for rail journeys at the time of booking.

Hourly booking of retiring rooms - will behanded over to IRCTC.

Janani sewa: children’s menu items on trains,baby foods, hot milk and hot water would bemade available.

SMART (Specially Modified AestheticRefreshing Travel) Coaches design andlayout of our coaches to ensure highercarrying capacity  and provision of newamenities including automatic doors, bar-code readers, bio-vacuum toilets, water-levelindicators, accessible dustbins, ergonomicseating, improved aesthetics, vendingmachines, entertainment screens, LED litboards for advertising, PA system.

Mobile Apps integrate all facilities into twomobile apps dealing with ticketing issues andfor receipt and redressal of complaints andsuggestions.

Improving customer interfaceskilling ourfront-end staff and those we employ through our service providers, information boards intrains enumerating the on-board services andalso GPS based digital displays insidecoaches to provide real time informationregarding upcoming halts. Work underway oninstallation of a high-tech centralized networkof 20,000 screens across 2000 stations forenabling real time flow of information topassengers and also unlock huge advertising potential. All A1 class stations will be mannedwith duly empowered Station Directorssupported by cross functional teams; to makeone person accountable for all facilities ontrains.
Pilgrimage centres: to take up on priority theprovision of passenger amenities andbeautification on stations at pilgrimagecentres including Ajmer, Amritsar,  BiharSharif, Chengannur, Dwarka, Gaya, Haridwar,Mathura, Nagapattinam, Nanded, Nasik, Pali,Parasnath, Puri, Tirupati, Vailankanni,Varanasi and Vasco; also intend to run Aasthacircuit trains to connect important pilgrimcentres.

Porters- intend providing them with newuniforms and train them in soft skills,henceforth, to be called sahayak.

High Speed Rail: passenger corridor fromAhmedabad to Mumbai being undertakenwith the assistance of the Government ofJapan. SPV for implementing high speed projects will be registered this month. Primebenefit would be providing IR with technologyadvancements and new manufacturingcapability.

Entertainment: propose to invite FM Radiostations for providing train borneentertainment; extend ‘Rail Bandhu’ to allreserved classes of travelers and in allregional languages.
Passenger traffic - Suburban traffic: in-principle approval for MUTP III received. Earlyaward of  tenders for elevated suburbancorridors between Churchgate-Virar andbetween CSTM-Panvel; revive Ring Railwaysystem in Delhi; launching a new investmentframework for developing suburban systemsin partnership with State Governments,development in Ahmedabad, Bangaluru,Hyderabad Chennai and Thiruvananthapuramon the anvil.

Winning back the lost modal share
Expanding the freight basket of IR to start time-tabled freight container,  parcel  andspecial commodity trains on a pilot basis,container sector would be opened to all trafficbarring coal, specified mineral ores and part-loads during the non-peak season. All existing terminals/sheds would be granted access tocontainer traffic, where considered feasible.
Rationalising the tariff structure – undertakereview of tariff policy to evolve a competitive rate structure vis a vis other modes, permitmulti-point loading/unloading and applydifferentiated tariffs to increase utilization ofalternate routes, explore possibility of signinglong term tariff contracts with our key freightcustomers using pre-determined priceescalation principles.
Building terminal capacity proposed todevelop Rail side logistics parks andwarehousing in PPP mode, 10 goods shedswill be developed by TRANSLOC, theTransport Logistics Company of India, in 2016-17. To soon inaugurate India’s first rail auto hub in Chennai. Encourage development of cold storage facilities on vacant land nearfreight terminals. Local farmers andfisherman would be given preferential usageof the facility. A policy in this regard would beissued in the next 3 months.
Nurturing customers will appoint KeyCustomer Managers to liaison  with  our  major freight stakeholders; each Zonal Railway will develop customer  commitmentcharter indicating service level commitmentsof IR, will explore the feasibility of opening upleasing of general purpose wagons.

Non fare revenues

Station redevelopment; monetizing land alongtracks; monetizing soft assets – website,data, etc; advertising – in 2016-17 target 4times the revenue of 2015-16; overhaul ofparcel business -  liberalize  the  current parcel policies  including opening the sector  to
container  train  operators;  revenues  from  manufacturing  activity  -  by  2020,  aim  atgenerating annualised revenues of about Rs4,000 crore.

Process Improvements

EPC projects standard document finalized,will implement at least 20 projects throughthis mode in 2016-17; by 2017-18, endeavourto award all works valuing above Rs. 300crore through EPC contracts.

Performance output parameters based contracts to review service contracts tointegrate them and make them simpler andoutcome focused.

Leveraging technology for projectmanagement- intend to use the latest droneand Geo Spatial based satellite technology forremotely reviewing the physical progressacross major projects; monitoring of DFC tobe operationalised through this mode in 2016-17.

System-wide Information Technologyintegration - initiated system wide integration,both horizontal and vertical, akin to an ERPthrough innovative partnership models.

Rail Development Authority
To enable fair pricing of services, promotecompetition, protect customer interests anddetermine efficiency standards; draft bill to beready after holding extensive stakeholderconsultations.

Undertaking Navarambh – a new beginning
Navinikaran - Structural Interventions

Organisational Restructuring- proposed toreorganize the Railway Board along businesslines and suitably empower Chairman,Railway Board. As a first step, crossfunctional directorates to be set up in Railway Board to focus on areas like non-farerevenues, speed enhancement, motive powerand information technology; explore thepossibility of unifying cadres for fresh recruitment of officers; strengthen PPP cell toimprove ease of doing business with IR.

Sashaktikaran – Improving our planning practices

To set up a Railway Planning & InvestmentOrganisation for drafting medium (5 years)and long (10 years) term corporate plans;identify projects which fulfill the corporategoal. Prepare a National Rail Plan toharmonise and integrate the  rail network with other modes of transport and create synergy for achieving seamless multi-modaltransportation network across the country

Aekikaran – Consolidation: Forming a holdingcompany of companies owned by IR.

Shodh aur vikas - Investing in the future: to setup a R&D organization, a Special RailwayEstablishment          for Strategic Technology & Holistic Advancement, SRESTHA. RDSO willnow focus only on day to day issues whileSRESTHA would drive long term research.

Vishleshan – Analyzing data: a dedicated,cross functional team called Special Unit forTransportation Research and Analytics(SUTRA) would be set up for carrying outdetailed analytics leading to optimizedinvestment decisions and operations

Navrachna – Innovation: by setting aside a sum of Rs. 50 crore for providing innovation grants to employees, startups and smallbusinesses.

Avataran - Seven Missions for thetransformation of IR
Missions will be headed by a Mission Directorreporting directly to  the Chairman, Railway Board and heading a cross functional teamempowered to take all relevant
decisions for a timely targeted delivery.Annual outcome based performance targetsfor the Mission would be announced and theMissions will finalise the implementationplans for short, medium and long terms andproceed accordingly
Mission 25 Tonne for 25 tonne axle load,Mission Zero Accident for safety, MissionPACE (Procurement and ConsumptionEfficiency),  Mission Raftaar for  higherspeeds, Mission Hundred for commissioning100 sidings/ freight terminals, Missionbeyond book-keeping for accounting reforms,Mission Capacity Utilisation to prepare ablueprint for making use of the capacitycreated once DFC is commissioned.
Sustainability  and  Social  Initiatives:  Human  Resources/  Skilling,  Social  initiatives,Environment
  • To tie up with the Ministry of Health forensuring an exchange betweenRailways hospitals and Governmenthospitals; to introduce ‘AYUSH’ systems in 5 Railway hospitals; providegang men with devices called ‘Rakshak’for intimating them about approachingtrains, also reduce the weight of thetools carried by them while patrolling.To provide toilets and air-conditioning incabs for our loco pilots.
  • Set up two chairs – one C T Venugopalchair on Strategic Finance,  researchand policy development and anotherKalpana Chawla chair on geo-spatialtechnology.
  • For youth - open our organisation to 100students across Engineering  and  MBAschools for 2-6 months’ internshipseach year.
  • Partnering with Ministry of Skill Development - skill development on IRpremises.
  • Undertaken energy audits for reducingenergy consumption in non-tractionarea by 10% to 15% - all new lightprovisions will be LED luminaire and allRailway stations to be covered with LEDluminaire in next 2 to 3 years.
  • Action plan drawn up for environmentalaccreditation, water management andwaste to energy conversion. More than2,000 locations provided  with  Rain  Water Harvesting facility. In place of steel sleepers on steel bridgesenvironmentally friendly compositesleepers made of recycled plastic wastewill be used over all girder bridges.
  • 32 stations and 10 coaching depots have been identified for installation of water recycling plants in the comingyears.
  • Partnering with State Governments foroperating tourist circuit trains; recentupgradation of National Rail Museum, promotion of tourism through Railway museums and UNESCO world heritageRailways.
  • To spread awareness about our NationalAnimal, the Tiger, complete packagesincluding train journey, safaris andaccommodation to cover the wildlifecircuit comprising Kanha, Pench andBandhavgarh will be offered.
Annex1 of  the Speech  details  the financialperformance of  the  Indian  Railways  & theestimates of Receipts & Expenditure.
  • Net reduction in Gross Traffic Receiptsby Rs 15,744 crore in RE 2015-16compared to the BE target of Rs1,83,578 crore. Passenger earningsscaled down keeping in view thepersistent negative growth trend since2013-14 both in the suburban and non-suburban non-PRS segment of travel.
  • Freight earnings impacted mainly on account of low demand from the core sector resulting in resetting the target in R.E. 2015-16 to Rs 1,11,853 crore.
  • Stringent economy and austeritymeasures adopted to contain the Ordinary Working Expenses (O.W.E.) due to which budgeted OrdinaryWorking Expenses of Rs 1,19,410 croredecreased in the Revised Estimates 2015-16 to Rs. 1,10,690 crore i.e. by Rs8,720 crore.
  • BE provided for an appropriation of Rs.34,900 crore to the Pension Fund.However, based on trend, the pension outgo moderately decreased to Rs.34,500 crore in RE.
  • Internal resource generation diminishedand appropriation to DRF moderated toRs. 5,500 crore in RE from the BE 2015-16 provisioning of Rs. 7,900 crore.Excess of receipts over expenditure inRE 2015-16 stands at Rs. 11,402.40crore.
  • Plan size for 2015-16 is currentlyestimated at 1,00,000 crore i.e. the BElevel.
Budget Estimates 2016-17:
  • The intention to improve revenues andensure appropriate investments which can continue the road-map ofdecongestion and enhance line-capacityenhancement as detailed in 2015-16.The focus is on enhanced CAPEX with a mix of various sources of funding inorder to ensure that the projects aregiven assured funding.
  • Gross Traffic Receipts kept at Rs1,84,820 crore . Passenger earningsgrowth has been pegged at 12.4 % andearnings target budgeted at Rs. 51,012crore. The freight traffic is pegged atincremental traffic of 50 million tonnes,anticipating a healthier growth in the core sector of economy. Goodsearnings is accordingly proposed at Rs.1, 17,933 crore. Other coaching andsundries projected at Rs. 6,185 croreand Rs. 9,590.3 crore respectively.
  • OWE provides for the implementation ofthe 7th CPC.
  • Pension outgo budgeted at Rs 45,500crore in 2016-17.
  • Higher staff cost and pension liabilityimpacts the internal resource position of the Railways. Accordingly, appropriationto DRF from revenue placed at Rs 3,200 crore and that from Production Units at Rs 200 crore. A withdrawal of Rs 3,160 crore from DRF on net basis proposedthough the gross expenditure to be metfrom DRF in the Annual Plan estimatedat Rs 7,160 crore. Rs 5,750 croreproposed to be appropriated to theCapital fund. With a draw-down of Rs1,250 crore from previous balances in the fund, plan requirement of Rs 7,000 crore for repayment of principalcomponent of lease charges to IRFCmet.
  • Railways are preparing a Plan size ofRs. 1,21,000 crore in 2016-17.

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