New Delhi:  Government today proposed “highest ever” plan outlay of Rs 65,445 crore to the railways for the  current fiscal, with a budgetary support of over Rs 30,000 crore.

Presenting the Railway Budget for 2014-15, Railway Minister Sadananda Gowda said the “highest ever plan outlay” would include market borrowing of Rs 11,790 crore and internal resources of Rs 15,350 crore.

Another Rs 6,005 crore would be mopped up through public private partnerships (PPP) mode, while railways would create a safety fund of Rs 2,200 crore.

As per Budget Estimates for 2014-15, total receipts are projected at Rs 1,64,374 crore, while total expenditure at Rs 1,49,176 crore.

Operating ratio would be 92.5 per cent, which is an improvement of 1 per cent over the last fiscal.

While passenger traffic grew by 2 per cent, passenger earnings stood at Rs 44,645 crore after revenue foregone of Rs 610 crore on account of rollback in monthly season ticket fares, Gowda said, adding freight earnings are estimated at 1,05,770 crore for this fiscal.

The expenditure on pension is pegged at Rs 28,850 crore, while Rs 9,135 crore would be spent on dividend payment.

On the challenges facing railways, Gowda said, “Surplus revenues are declining. There is hardly any adequate resources for development works.”

The surplus resources, which stood at Rs 11,754 crore in 2007-08, is estimated to be only Rs 602 crore in the current  financial year, he added.

He also said Rs 5 lakh crore was required to complete the ongoing projects alone as only 317 of the 674 projects sanctioned in last three decades could be completed.

Completing the unfinished projects would require Rs 1,82,000 crore, he said.

Observing that most of gross traffic receipts was spent on fuel, salary and pension, track and coach maintenance and on safety works, Gowda said  that Rs 1,39,558 crore was the gross traffic receipts and total working expenses were at Rs 1,30,321 crore last year.

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