Railway Budget 2008 Highlights and Features

Budget plays a vital role for a developing country like India. The budget of the country has its overall effect upon the various sectors of the economy.The concept of growth fear is partly met as it is growing fast. But achieving the development indicators is very far to reach. Growing Inequality is the best example. In this context, Budget haves its own importance.
the Railway Minister Mr Lalu Prasad Jadav forecasted briefly the Indian railway Budget 2008. It is learnt that the fare and additional surcharge will not be increased. The honorable Railway Minister thinks that such benefits have only made possible by the hard work of the railway workers.
Following are the highlights of the Railway Budget presented by Laloo Prasad Yadav
*No increase in passenger fares
*No increase in freight rates
*55 New trains, 37 trains extended
*550 km of new lines to be added in 2006-07
*Number of coaches in 190 trains to be increased
*1,100 km of gauge conversion, 435 km of doubling
*’A’ & ‘B’ category stations to be made model stations
*Fare cut in 1st class AC passenger by 18%
*Fare cut in 2nd class AC passenger by 10%
*Fare cut in 3rd class AC passenger by 25%
*Fully AC 'Garib Rath' to run on a pilot project basis
*Fares in 'Garib Rath' to be 25% lower than AC-III tier.
*Charges leviable on issue of E-tickets reduced
*50% concession in fares to farmers, milk producers
*50% concession to handicapped people
*Rs 22,000 crore for dedicated freight corridor
*Double stack container train to be launched in March
*Private container trains to be allowed by March 31
*Diesel, petrol freight charges down by 8 per cent
*Dynamic pricing policy for freight introduced
*30% discount during non-peak, 20% in peak season on incremental freight
*Freight loading target for 2006-07 at 726 million tonnes
*Freight revenues to be Rs 40,320 crore in 2006-07
*Journey time of Rajdhani, Shatabdi to be reduced
*Upgradation of lower class passengers to higher class
*’Jansadharan ticket booking scheme’ to be launched
*’Gramin ticket booking service’ for rural youth
*200 Mail/Express trains to be made Superfast
*ATMs, cyber cafes to be provided at major stations
*All-India rail timetable to be reworked
*200 automatic ticket vending machines in Mumbai to be set up
*Railway protection force for the security of women
*Passenger revenues to be Rs 16,800 crore in 2006-07
*Largest ever plan outlay of Rs 23,475 crore
*Outlay includes Rs 7,511 cr from central exchequer
*Outlay includes Rs 10,794 crore from internal resources
*Outlay includes Rs 5,170 crore from extra budgetary funds
*Rationalisation of goods tariff to continue
*Number of commodity groups to be reduced from 80 to 28
*Fund Balance increases to Rs 11,000 cr