Highlights of Railway Budget 2013 by Pawan Kumar Bansal

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Indian Railways
New Delhi, Feb 26: Union Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal on Tuesday, Feb 26 presented the Raiway Budget 2013-14 in Parliament. Here are the highlights.

Train fares:

No hike in passenger fares. However, freight fares have been increased by 5 percent (in average). [Read: No passenger fare hike in 2013 Railway Budget]

New trains:

26 new passenger trains have been launched. [Read: Over 100 new train services and extension of services]

Tech-savvy Indian Railways:

Free wi-fi facilities at railway stations - 60 more 'adarsh' stations.

Next-generation e-ticketing system to improve end user experience. The system will support 7,200 users per minute.

Induction of e-ticketing through mobile phones, SMS alerts to passengers. [Read: Railways enters mobile age, fare hike trick in budget]

Special Facilities for ladies:

More ladies specials in metros and a helpline number to be implemented.

Toll free 1800111321 number to address grievance. Introduced from February 2013.

Facilities for differently-able persons:

Wheelchairs and escalators to be made to make stations and trains friendlier for the differently-abled.

Hygienic food while travelling in trains:

Labs to test food provided in trains. ISO certification for all rail kitchens.

Jobs in Indian Railways:

Seek to fill 1.52 lakh vacancies in railways this year. 47,000 vacancies for weaker sections and physically challenged to be filled up soon.

1.5 lakh vacancies to be filled up. Staff construction quarters to be facilitated. Hostel facilities for single women employees. Institute of Railway Financial Management to come up in Secunderabad.

Loss and planning for Railways:

Rail losses estimated at Rs 24,600 crores for 2012-2013 vs Rs 22,500 crores in 2012-2013. 12th Plan Rail market borrowing at Rs 1.2 lakh crores.

Raising Rs 95,000 crores over next 4 years. Gross Budgetary support at Rs 1.94 crores for 2013 budget.

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