In major announcements of Union Budget for the financial year 2020-19, Nirmala Sitharaman allocated ₹70,000 crores to Indian Railways and an outlay for capital expenditure amounting to ₹1.61 trillion. Apart from that, a paltry 3 percent more than the previous year was also announced by the finance minister.
In 2016, Railway Budget was merged with the Union Budget by the Modi government. In February 2017, the then FM Arun Jaitley became the first to present the Railway Budget as a part of the main Budget speech.
Last year, the capital expenditure (RE) was increased by 17.2 percent and made ₹1.56 trillion. For the construction of new railway lines funds of ₹12,000 crores are allocated while ₹2,250 crores are earmarked for gauge conversion, ₹700 crores for doubling, ₹5,786.97 crore for rolling stock and ₹1,650 crores for signaling and telecom.
Apart from fund allocation, the finance minister proposed the setting up of large solar power capacity alongside rail tracks and said that more Tejas- type trains will be introduced to connect tourist destinations.
In announcements regarding Public-Private-Partnership, Sitharaman said that 150 trains will be run in PPP mode, also four stations will be redeveloped with the help of the private sector.
The finance minister announced to Kisan Rail through PPP for seamless national cold supply chain for perishables (milk, meat, fish, etc.) For ease in the transport of goods, Sitharaman proposed to have refrigerated coaches in Express and Freight trains.
Nirmala Sitharaman assured that the Delhi-Mumbai Expressway will be completed by 2023 and that the Chennai-Bengaluru Expressway will also be launched. She also announced more Tejas type trains to connect iconic tourist destinations.
While presenting the budget she said, "148 km long Bengaluru Suburban transport project at a cost of Rs 18600 crore, to have fares on the metro model. Central Government to provide 20% of equity and facilitate external assistance up to 60% of the project cost."
"High-speed train between Mumbai and Ahmedabad to be actively pursued," she added.
Apart from that, setting up large solar power capacity alongside rail tracks, on land owned by railways, was also a part of Sitharaman's big-budget announcements for Railways.