India unveils a USD 9.6 billion budget for railways

Under the Union Budget 2019-2020, Indian Railways received an allocation of Rs. 65,837 crore (USD 9.62 billion), representing an increase compared to the last year budgetary allocation that had a value of Rs550.88 crore (USD 8 billion).
The Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, proposed a capital expenditure of Rs1.6 trillion (USD 23.4 billion) for railways which will be used for the construction of new lines, track-doubling and gauge conversion, as well as for the procurement of new rolling stock and for the modernisation of the signalling systems.
To enhance metro and railways projects, the budget is encouraging more PPP initiatives which will push forward the development and completion of the railway projects. In addition, the budget proposes the completion of sanctioned works, as well as the development of transit-oriented development to ensure commercial activity around transit hubs.
According to the budget, a massive program of railway station modernisation will be launched.
According to the budget document, railway will be encouraged to highly invest in the suburban network and services through SPV structures like Rapid Regional Transport System (RRTS) proposed on the Delhi-Meerut route.
According to the Finance Minister, by 2030, the railway infrastructure will need a Rs 50 trillion (USD 730.4 billion) investment.

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