Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu has begun presenting his second railway budget in Lok Sabha. The Minister is faced with an uphill task of providing passenger services amid dwindling funds. No passenger fare hike has been announced so far.
While reading out the budget for the coming fiscal, Prabhu said, ” We will exploit new sources of revenue beyond tariff revenue.”
Prabhu also said that his ministry’s investment will be Rs 1.21 lakh crore for 2016-17 and the Railways will get Rs 40,000 cr budgetary support from the government.
Talking about new tracks, the minister said he will commission 2,800 km of new tracks in the next year.
And speaking about the loss incurred because of subsidising passenger fares, he said,”Rs 30,000 crore is the loss on subsidising passenger fares.”
He also added that Railways will shift to completely paperless contract system in 2016-17.
The railway budget comes at the back drop of a falling revenue collection and increasing demand for funding and improving passenger services demands.