For the first time in the history of the country, the Union Budget was presented along with the Railway budget. The Budget presented by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley made a host of announcements for the railway sector. A 22 per cent rise in the Railway Budget was announced by the finance minister.
These are the top announcements:
- The service charge on rail tickets booked through IRCTC will be withdrawn.
- A Rail safety fund with a corpus of Rs 100,000 crore will be created over a period of 5 years
- Steps will be taken to launch dedicated trains for pilgrimage and tourism
- As many as 500 stations to be made accessible to the physically challenged by providing lifts and escalators.
- At least 25 train stations are expected to be awarded during 2017-18
- A new metro rail policy will be announced. This is expected to open up new jobs for the youth
- Railways will integrate end to end transport solutions for selected commodities through partnerships
- All coaches of Indian railways to be fitted with bio toilets by 2019.
- Unmanned railway level crossings to be eliminated by 2020.