Railway Budget 2016-17 -shows poor performance during 2015-16

The Railway budget figures show very poor performance of the Ministry of Railways during 2015-16.Revised Estimates for Gross Traffic Receipts at Rs.167834 crores is only 91.4% of the Budget Estimates 2015-16 and also is higher than the 2014-15 actual Receipts of  Rs.156710 crore  by only about 7%. Considering the annual inflation, at constant prices, estimated gross traffic receipts might be less than the actual receipts of the previous year. This speaks very poorly of the efficiency of the Ministry of Railways.

Revised Estimates of the total working expenses 2015. In fact-16 is Rs.150690 crores which is about 93% of the Budget Estimates 2015-16 and is 5.3% higher than 2014-15  actual expenditure, Considering lower price of diesel, the expenditure could have been less.

An expenditure of Rs.4060 crores on construction of new lines was anticipated, but only Rs.2061 crore is estimated to have been spent/will be spent during the year. In the normal course, the actual expenditure is higher than estimate on account of inflation, but here it is the reverse. This is surprising ,because there are always demands from the public and the Members of Parliament for sanctioning/completing of new lines, Similarly Revised Estimates 1015-16 is much lower than Budget Estimates in respect of  guage conversion, doubling of lines, traffic facilities, rolling stock etc are also. This again shows the inefficiency of the Ministry

When salaries, prices of raw materials(except diesel), etc. has increased, keeping the passenger fares unaltered is not a great achievement. In fact, the passenger fares, freight rates etc. should be higher than the rate of inflation, so that there is more savings which can be used for new lines, additional lines, passenger amenities, safety measures etc.

Government has invested about  Rs.400000/-crores on assets building. If the assets particularly land, are revalued, the investment by the Government is much higher, The net income in a year should be at least 10% of the assets which is over Rs.40,000 crores.One could appreciate the Budget if it had shown this much profit/additional investment. One fondly hopes that in future we have budgets which show reasonable profits and investments.

 

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