Finance Minister Piyush Goyal Friday 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.
Goyal, who is also the Railway minister, said so far, 2018-2019 has been the safest for the Indian Railways and all unmanned level crossings on the broad gauge network have been completely eliminated.
"Capital expenditure programme of railways at all-time high of Rs 1.58 lakh crore in next financial year. Vande Bharat Express, indigenously developed semi-high speed (train), will give Indian passengers world class experience.
"This major leap in wholly developed technology by our engineers will give an impetus to the Make in India programme and create jobs," he said in his debut budget speech.
Goyal also announced that the operating ratio for the current fiscal has improved to 96.2 per cent, and in the next financial year the aim will be to have it at 95 per cent.
No railway fare hike was announced in the Railway Budget for 2019. Lok Sabha elections are slated to be held in April-May.
The planned expenditure would be a 148 per cent hike from the levels of 2014.