Railway Budget 2021: In a move to revive the Indian Railways, one of India’s vital sectors, that faced massive financial losses amid the coronavirus pandemic Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced Rs. 1 lakh 7 thousand crores for capital expenditure of the Railways with big focus on the ‘green railways’ project and railway safety fund. Sitharaman also allocated Rs 63,000 crore for the Chennai Metro and Rs 25,000 crore for West Bengal projects. Also Read - High Petrol, Diesel Prices Burden on Consumers; Tax Cut Should be Joint Call of Centre, States: FM
“Indian Railways have a National Rail Plan for 2030. Next lot of airports to be privatized in tier 2 and 3 towns and cities,” said FM Sitharaman. Also Read - I-T Raid on Taapsee Pannu, Anurag Kashyap: Sitharaman Says Why It's an Issue Now, it Happened in 2013 As Well
Indian Railways have a National Rail Plan for 2030. Next lot of airports to be privatized in tier 2 and 3 towns and cities, Also Read - Indian Railways Latest News: Platform Ticket Rates Hiked. Check Price Details Here
In 2020, the Sitharaman-headed Ministry of Finance allocated a Gross Budgetary Support (GBS) of Rs 70,250 crore.
The Union Budget last year focused on reviving the railway sector with announcements including private trains like Tejas Express, wi-fi facilities, better connectivity to tourist sites, solar power capacity to fuel the rail network.
The Indian Railways set up Kisan Rail through the PPP (public-private partnership) model announced for the railway sector in 2019, so that perishable goods can be transported quickly. The Modi government also announced India’s first bullet train project between Ahmedabad and Mumbai, however, the plan was derailed by the pandemic but it is in progress.
Notably, the Union Budget went paperless for the first time since Independence, due to COVID-19 pandemic. Every year, the Union Budget is printed in the finance ministry’s in house press, involving nearly 100 employees who have to stay together for nearly a fortnight till the time the papers are printed, sealed and delivered on the day of the Budget.