Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today presented the most difficult budget of the decade. This was for the second time that Sitharaman presented the Railway Budget. Earlier on 5 July 2019, she presented Railway Budget 2019 along with Union Budget 2019.
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Here are the highlights of Rail Budget 2020:
- The Indian Railways will set up a Kisan Rail through public-private partnership model. "Comprehensive measures for 100 water-stressed districts being proposed in this budget; agricultural credit target has been set at ₹15 lakh crore," she said.
- Within 100 days of assumption of this government, it has commissioned 550 wi-fi facilities in as many stations, eliminated unmanned crossings, and aims to achieve electrification of 27000 Km of tracks.This will call for optimisation of costs.
- Setting up a large solar power capacity alongside the rail tracks, on the land owned by the railways. A proposal is under consideration.
- Four station re-development projects and operation of 150 passenger trains would be done through PPP mode. The process of inviting private participation is underway.
- More Tejas type trains will connect iconic tourist destinations.
- High speed train between Mumbai to Ahmedabad would be actively
History of Rail Budget
Since the year 2017, Railway Budget has been merged with the Union Budget. The NDA government did away with the 92-year-old colonial-era practice and made the rail budget a part of the general budget. Suresh Prabhu is the last Railway minister to present the separate Railway Budget speech in Parliament. Independent India’s first railway budget was presented by the first finance minister of the country Sir R.K. Shanmugham Chetty on November 26, 1947.