Railway Budget 2021: The allocation towards the railway budget is expected to be around Rs 1.70 lakh crore and the gross budgetary support for railways expected to be around Rs. 75,000 crore, rating agency Brickwork Ratings said in its report titled ‘BWR Pre-Budget Expectations FY22’. Along with the main allocation for Railway Budget 2021, the agency also expects that the allocation of safety fund for the railway network should be increased by 50 per cent from the current Rs. 20,000 crore to Rs. 30,000 crore per year, that will help in boosting the safety infrastructure. (Also Read: Budget 2021: Indian Railways To Seek Investment Of ₹ 30,000 Crore For Running Private Trains )
Railway Budget 2021 is expected to bring policy support for the operations of private trains, new train sets for faster connectivity on new routes, better rail connectivity to tourist and pilgrimage spots, expansion of railway infrastructure for better connectivity in northeastern states. According to the report, a greater allocation is also expected towards green energy initiative by Indian Railways. The expansion of Kisan Rail from the current Maharashtra-Bihar route to other areas of the country is likely to strengthen the cold supply chain of perishable agricultural produce.
As part of the national transporter’s first private investment initiative for operating passenger trains, the Railway Ministry had completed the process of evaluating applications for public-private partnership (PPP) in passenger train services. In this regard, Indian Railways seeks an investment of around Rs 30,000 crore from private entities.
The Railway Board had invited the request for quotation for private sector participation for passenger trains of more than 109 origin-destination (OD) pairs of routes through the introduction of 151 modern trains. The 109 OD pairs of routes are formed into 12 clusters across the railway network.
Out of the 120 applications,102 applicants were found eligible to participate in the request for proposal (RFP) stage. Infrastructure majors such as Larsen and Toubro (L&T), GMR, BHEL were among the 102 eligible operators qualified to bid in the first stage for running private trains.