The Railway Budget has been provided. Here’s a quick list (with press release links) for the major announcements:
Changes to Trains and Stations
- CCTV on trains, platforms, for security and cleanliness
- Bio-Toilets so that waste is not directly discarded on track. (Thank goodness)
- Food courts in stations (finally)
- Cleanliness budget up 40%
- Wifi in A and A1 category trains, workstations in trains.
- Logistics support to e-commerce companies by segregating pick up centers.
- Lifts and Escalators in stations, through PPP route. I don’t know how this works – do you pay to use the lift? Why PPP if the private player sees no revenue?
- Battery operated carts to transport the old and invalid.
Outsourcing and Private Party Participation
Where’s the money going to come from?
- They’ll earn 1.64 trillion (lakh crore) from ops. (Link)
- They’ll spend 1.49 trillion (lakh crore) (Link)
- Revision in prices based on the cost of fuel.
- They’ll borrow around 11,800 cr. which for their revenue isn’t that much. Plus, they might be able to raise it at lower costs through tax free bonds with IRFC.
- BEML which makes coaches.
- Many of the rail companies like Kalindee Rail, Texmaco Rail etc. but it looks like expectations were even higher!
- Based on the implementation, will be good for freight. Which probably means not so great for the likes of Ashok Leyland and Tata Motors which make trucks.
- All these stocks are down big time, some limit down. However, the impact isn’t negative at all, and FDI for Railways will most likely come through after the budget.