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Six Reasons To Cheer About The New Railway Budget

Six Reasons To Cheer About The New Railway Budget

For the first time in history, India’s Railway Budget was announced this morning alongside the Union Budget 2017-18. The plan includes a 22% rise in the Railways Budget with the total capital and developmental expenditure set at Rs 1.31 lakh crore for the railways in 2017-18, including Rs 55,000 crore that will be provided by the government.

The four main priorities the government has set out for the Railways are passenger safety, development work, cleanliness and a reform in railway accounts.

Keeping in line with these stated objectives, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley rolled out what has largely been described as a ‘populist budget’ that is kinder to the common man still recovering from the shock of demonetisation.

Here are the highlights:

1. New Rail Safety Fund

Screen Shot 2017-02-01 at 1.57.58 pm
Rashtriya Rail Suraksha Kosh will be established over a period of 5 years, with a corpus of Rs 100,000 crore.

2. No More Service Tax

Screen Shot 2017-02-01 at 1.58.19 pm
Tickets booked through the IRCTC will no longer be privy to a service charge.

3. Disabled-Friendly

Photo Credit: Pixabay
Photo Credit: Pixabay

As many as 500 rail stations will be made differently abled-friendly by the provision of lifts and escalators.

4. Bio-Focus

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

By 2019, all coaches of the Indian Railways will be fitted with bio-toilets and bio-tyres.

5. Goodbye Unmanned Crossings

Screen Shot 2017-02-01 at 1.57.34 pm By 2020, all unmanned railway level crossings will be done away with.

6. Launch of a New Service

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

The superfast Antyodaya Express will soon be set up with unreserved, second class service.

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