This will be Railway Minister Mallikarjun Kharge’s maiden budget. He would be under pressure to reach out to all sections with populist measures in an election year.
11.10 am: As this is an interim budget, the Minister is unlikely to announce major new projects. Nor will he make any policy shifts.
11.20 am: Facing a revenue shortfall, Kharge may not reduce basic passenger fares. He is likely to make changes in the fuel adjustment component so that its impact on ticket prices is minimum.
11.30 am: Telangana uproar again. Parliament adjourned till noon.
11.40 am: Despite populist pressure, Kharge would have to address the growing revenue deficit in the Railways. While the expenses have gone up, earnings have decreased by over Rs 4,000 crore.
12.00 noon: The Congress led UPA Government is set to present its second interim Budget for the Railways.
12.05 pm: Kharge may gift 252.5 km Wadi-Gadag line to Karnataka
12.15 pm: Kharge begins presenting the last rail budget for UPA-II
Kharge says amid uproar for and against Telangana:
Railways seek vote on account approval sought for first 4 months of FY15.
Need budgetory resources of Rs 19,805 crore for FY15
Railways need urgent investment to improve services.
Need urgent investment in Railways to improve services
Railways finances have improved
Extra expenditure met through internal accruals
What was done last year:
Completed laying 2,027 kms rail lines vs target 2,000 kms
Completed electrification of 4,556 kms vs target of 4,500 kms
Met 6th pay panel recommendations
To introduce 38 express trains, 17 premium trains,
Electrification of over 4,000 kilomteres is planned
Pasassenger service up to Katra Vaishno Devi soon
Better connectivity to NorthEast: To connect Meghalaya, Arunachal to rail network in FY14
Dedicated freight corridor to reduce transit time by half
Setting up 11.2 km tunnel in Jammu and Kashmir
Rail Vikas Nigam to borrow ₹1,000 crore from market in FY15
12.30: Kharge cuts short budget speech. lays the entire speech on the table of the House.
Seemandhra MPs troop into the well of Lok Sabha to protest Telangana. They are led by four union ministers – Chiranjeevi, KS Rao, D Purandeshwari, and K Surya Prakash Reddy. There was no way anyone could have read anything in the din