Bansal mantra to put Rlys back on track
By ENS Economic Bureau - NEW DELHI
27th February 2013 10:18 AM
“Money saved is money earned,” was the broad mantra on which Railways Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal laid the foundations of his maiden Railways Budget that was tabled in Parliament on Tuesday.
Bansal said the Railways will follow strict financial and fiscal discipline as “scarcity of resources continues to stare us (Railways) in the face.”
“The number of passenger trains has increased from 8,897 in 2001-02 to 12,335 in 2011-12...This has also led to deterioration in services of extended to our esteemed passengers,” Bansal said.
The Planning Commission has tentatively pegged Railways’ 12th Plan at `5.19 lakh crore with a gross budgetary support of Rs1.94 lakh crore. Internal resources of Rs1.05 lakh crore and market borrowing of Rs1.20 lakh crore, with `1 lakh crore expected to be raised through Public Private Partnership (PPP) route.
The Minster said that the operating ratio, which is the money spent to earn every Rs100, had consistently come down since the 1990s when it was 94.9 per cent in the last fiscal. He said the operating ratio had now come down to 88.8 per cent in 2013-14 and the aim is to further bring it down in the coming years.
The best ever Operating Ratio of the Indian Railways was 74.7 per cent in 1963-64.
Meanwhile, the Railways is targeting a record Rs1.46 lakh crore in revenues during the next fiscal even as it is likely to miss the total resource mobilization of Rs1.35 lakh crore set for 2012-13.
It is expected to fall short of targeted revenues by as much as Rs 7,491.66 crore mainly due to lower passenger and freight earnings.
As per official data, Railways is projected to see gross receipts Rs1.28 lakh crore for the fiscal ending March 31 2013 compared to the budget estimate of Rs1.35 lakh crore.
Bansal also proposed to mobilise Rs1.46 lakh crore by raising various charges for passengers movement and basic freight rate.
The Railways is expected to garner Rs 42,210 crore from passenger fare in 2013-14 compared to revised estimates of Rs 32,500 crore for the current fiscal.
Similarly, freight movement (the highest contributor to the railways revenue) is likely rake in Rs 93,554 crore as against revised estimate of Rs 85,956 crore for financial year ending on March 31.
As far as expenditure is concerned the Railways is likely to spend Rs96,500 crore towards working expense in the next fiscal.
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