Railways Minister Piyush Goyal on Thursday said that the 2021 Budget has focussed on infrastructure projects in Indian Railways and the highest capital expenditure will act as a huge catalyst to revitalise the economy and lead towards Aatmanirbhar Bharat.
Addressing a press conference, he said that Indian Railways is marching ahead on its bigger plan like achieving 100 per cent electrification by 2023, net-zero carbon emission network by 2030, modernisation, ease of ticket booking, and online freight services.
"Indian Railways is on the verge of becoming a 'Future Ready' network," he said.
Goyal also said that normal train services will be decided upon in consultation with other stakeholders as the Covid situation is being monitored.
"Vaccination drive has gathered momentum but still we need to adhere to precautions and preventions," he said.
About the Dedicated Freight Corridors (DFC), the Minister said monetisation of assets can be taken up in stages by public listing and gradual disinvestment after the DFC become fully operational, and the DFC Corporation of India Ltd (DFCCIL) starts registering healthy profits.
He also said that the focus is now on the completion of projects rather than on announcing new projects.
"Fund allocation and targets have been planned for next four years. All supercritical projects will be completed by March 2022 and others will be completed by March 2024," he said.
The Railway Ministry, in a statement, said that railway has now the highest-ever total plan capital expenditure of Rs 2,15,058 crore this year with Rs 7,500 crore from internal resources, Rs 1,00,258 crore from extra-budgetary resources, and Rs 1,07,100 crore for capital expenditure allocation given in the General Budget.
"The gross budgetary allocation is Rs 37,050 crore (53 per cent) higher than BE 2020-21. In spite of Covid, this is the remarkable vindication of the progress being made being undertaken for infrastructure projects," it said.