Rail Budget 2019: Government Plans to Enhance Metro Rail Coverage by PPP Initiative, Special Purpose Vehicles for Suburban Projects
Rail Budget 2019 (Photo Credits: File Photo)

New Delhi, July 5: The Railway Budget 2019 was presented in the Parliament by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday along with the Union Budget 2019. Sitharaman said that not only will PPPs be encouraged in the railway sector, but SPVs or Special Purpose Vehicles structures will be eyes for development of India's first Rapid Regional Transport System (RRTS). In her speech, the Finance Minister said Railways to be encouraged to invest more in suburban railways through SPV structures such as Rapid Regional Transport System; more PPP initiatives to be encouraged in rail sector. Income Tax Slabs Remain Unchanged in Budget 2019. 

Sitharaman stressed that the railways need an investment of Rs 50 lakh crore from 2018 to 2030 and proposed public private partnership to unleash faster development of passenger and freight services. "It is estimated that railway infrastructure would need an investment of Rs 50 lakh crore between 2018 to 2030", she said.

Sitharaman added saying that new metro rail projects for 300 km have been approved. 657 km Metro line network is operational across country. 300 km of Metro rail line to be constructed in future. "Railway infrastructure requirement is estimated at INR 50 lakh cr between 2018-30. Current annual spend hovers around INR 1.5-1.6 lakh cr. Thus to complete the entire projects, the Government envisages PPP model for Rail infra development", she said. Rail Budget 2019: How Platform Ticket Price Changed From 2014 to 2018.

This is the first budget of the Narendra Modi Government in the second tenure and is Sitharaman's maiden Budget. On Thursday evening, the Finance Minister along with Minister of State Anurag Thakur and officials of the ministry gave final touches to the General Budget last evening. The Railway Budget 2019 speech by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is expected to focus on safety and speed of trains, with upgradation of railway infrastructure.

Every year, the Rail Budget was presented a few days before the Union budget, till 2016. However, the Modi government on September 21, 2016 approved merger of the Rail and General budgets from next year. This ended a 92-year-old practice of a separate budget for the nation's largest transporter.

In February, Union Minister Piyush Goyal had announced a capital expenditure allocation of Rs 1.58 lakh crore for the Railways, the highest ever for the national transporter, in an effort to put its flagging revenues back on track. In 2018, the then finance minister Arun Jaitley had allocated an amount of Rs 1.48 lakh crore for the Railways in his budget.