ANI Photo | “Railways sector was totally ignored before 2014”: Ashwini Vaishnaw

Union Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw on Thursday said that the railways sector was completely ignored prior to the year 2014, adding that Prime Minister Narendra Modi strongly committed to the growth of this sector with a focus on capacity building and the adoption of new technologies in the past ten years.
Speaking to ANI on the Interim Budget which was presented on Thursday by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Ashwani Vaishnaw said that today Railways is witnessing an unprecedented budget allocation.
“Indian Railway is a medium of transport for the poor and middle class and is an important structure of our economy. Ten years ago, this sector was completely ignored, and investment in capacity building was not provided. PM Modi in these 10 years has focused on the railways. 26,000 km of new tracks were added,” Vaishnaw told ANI.
Stating that another 5500 km of new tracks will be built in the year 2024, Ashwani Vaishnaw said, “Last year alone, 5000 km of new tracks were laid out. Without increasing capacity, how will the new trains run? PM Modi understood this.”
On the announcement of three major economic railway corridor programs in the Interim Budget, the Railways Minister said, “Corridor-based growth is important. 40,000 km of new track will be laid with this decision.It is equal to Germany’s whole network. This will be added in the next five years. New services will start with this.”
Indian Railways has been allotted a total of Rs 2.52 lakh crore outlay for the financial year 2024-25.
Highlighting the budget allocation of several states in the Railways sector, Ashwini Vaishnaw said, “In a land where so much innovation is happening, Tamil Nadu has received an outstanding outlay of Rs 6,331 crore to carry out several rail infrastructure and safety projects.”
“Kerala has received an exceptional outlay of Rs 2,744 crores for several rail infrastructure and safety projects,” the Railways Minister said, adding that Himachal Pradesh is set to get Rs 2,681 crore for similar projects.
Stating that 100 percent electrification of the railway network has been achieved in Haryana, the Railways Minister informed that Rs 2,861 crore has been allocated for the development of railways in the state.
“PM Modi changed the entire strategy (for Railways) over the last 10 years, and now the focus is being made on investment to modernize the Railways. For this year, the budget that has been allocated for the Railways is Rs 2.52 lakh crore,” the Railways minister said earlier today in a press conference.
Earlier today, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced in her Interim Budget speech for FY 2024-25 that for Railways, three major economic railway corridor programs will be implemented- energy, mineral and cement corridors, port connectivity corridors, and high traffic density corridors.
Underlining the government’s commitment to stability in taxation and a strategic approach to encourage economic growth, the Finance Minister proposed to make no changes in the taxation structure, which can be seen as a relief to taxpayers.
Finance Minister also stated that PM Awas Yojana (Grameen) is close to achieving 3 crore houses. “Another 2 crore houses will be taken up in the next 5 years,” she announced in her Interim budget speech.
The Finance Minister concluded her budget presentation with a positive outlook, signalling the government’s determination to continue fostering inclusive growth and development.
The Interim Budget 2024 is expected to undergo thorough scrutiny and debate in the coming days in Parliament as stakeholders assess its potential impact on the nation’s economic trajectory

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