High Allocation Expected for Railways Despite Capital Expenditure Pressure

Railway budget 2024

New Delhi: In the Interim Budget for 2024-25, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman allocated ₹2,52,200 crore to the railways as gross budgetary support (GBS), along with an additional ₹10,000 crore from extra-budgetary resources (EBR). However, the good news doesn’t stop there! Here are the key highlights:

  1. Robust Investment Focus: With road and highway construction spending nearing its cycle, the railways are poised to become the next significant investment focus. Railway spending is set to continue robustly, aiming to reduce logistics costs relative to GDP. Expect substantial investments in all areas of the railway infrastructure, including wagons, coaches, signaling, new lines, gauge conversion, and high-speed trains.
  2. Safety and Passenger Comfort: The government prioritizes safety and passenger comfort. In response to a recent train accident in West Bengal, the installation of the Kavach automatic train protection system will be expedited.
  3. Record Allocation: The capital expenditure (capex) for the railways is likely to increase by about 25% from the 2023-24 budget estimate, taking the budgetary allocation to more than ₹3 lakh crore in 2024-25.
  4. Continued Heavy Capital Expenditure: Initial concerns about resource shifts toward private consumption have eased. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is set to pay a record-breaking dividend of ₹2.11 trillion to the government, providing room to balance spending between boosting consumption and maintaining high capital expenditure plans.
Railway budget 2024

In summary, the railways are on track for significant investment, safety enhancements, and improved passenger experiences. Let’s eagerly await the budget presentation on July 23 to see how accurate these speculations prove to be!