Budget presented amidst Railways' huge need for funds

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Gowda
New Delhi, July 8: The railway budget for 2014-15 presented Tuesday comes in the face of a huge funds requirements for the Indian Railways that "practically carries anything and everything", Railways Minister D. V. Sadananda Gowda told parliament.

"There is a huge gap between surplus and funds required. The railways spends 94 paise and retains only 6 paise as surplus", Gowda said.

There was a loss on passenger fare of 23 paisa per passenger per km during 2013-14, the railway minister announced.

"We are expected to earn like commercial enterprise, but serve like welfare organisation", he added.

The surplus is continuously declining due to non-revision of fare, the minister said.

"The surplus, after paying obligatory dividend and lease charges is estimated to be Rs.602 crore in the current financial year", Gowda told the Lok Sabha.

Funds of about Rs.500,000 crore are required for the next 10 years for completing ongoing projects alone, the railways ministry said here in a release.

"There has been focus on sanctioning projects rather than completing them", Gowda said.

In the last 10 years, 99 new line projects worth Rs.60,000 crore were sanctioned out of which only one project is complete till date, the ministry said.

IANS

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