Union Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal presented the Union Railway Budget for 2013-14 in Lok Sabha on 26 February 2013.
The major highlights of the budget are the introduction 106 new trains with no fare hikes. The present year railway budget laid emphasis on host of proposals for travel safety and comfort, such as escalators at key stations, a new e-ticketing system and a high-class coach in select trains.
Railway Budget 2013-14 at a Glance:
The Thrust of this year Railway Budget was on Safety, Consolidation, Passenger Amenities and Fiscal Discipline.
• Deployment of new generation energy efficient electric locomotives and EMUs.
• Five Percent Increase in freight to push Inflation.
• Elimination of 10797 level crossings during the 12th Plan and no addition of new LCs to the IR system henceforth.
• Introduction of Train Protection Warning System on Automatic Signalling Systems.
• Rigorous trials of the indigenously developed Train Collision Avoidance System.
• Four companies of women RPF personnel set up and another 8 to be set up to strengthen the security of rail passengers, especially women passengers
• Recruitment to RPF with 10% vacancies reserved for women.
• No increase in passenger fares
• 500-km new lines to be completed in 2013-14
• Diesel price hike added 3300 crore rupees to fuel bill of Railways
• Railways hopes to end 2013-14 with a balance of 12506 crore rupees
• Concessional fare for sportspersons
• Five fellowships to be announced to motivate students
• Seek to fill 1.52 lakh vacancies in railways this year. 47000 vacancies for weaker sections and physically challenged to be filled up soon
• Target of 4000 crore rupees for railway production units in 2014
• Induction of e-ticketing through mobile phones, SMS alerts to passengers
• Free wi-fi facilities in select trains. 60 more 'adarsh' stations
• The number of passenger trains has increased from 8000 in 2001 to over 12000 in 2012 - yet losses continue to mount. It is estimated to be Rs. 24000 crore in 2012-13
• Proposal for setting up of Railway Tariff Regulatory Authority formulated and at inter-ministerial consultation stage.
• Supplementary charges for super fast trains, reservation fee, clerkage charge, cancellation charge and tatkal charge marginally increased.
• Complimentary card passes to Olympic medalist and Dronacharya Awardees for Rajdhani Shatabdi Trains.
• Announcement Facility and Electronic display boards in train.