Highlights of 2016-17 Railway Budget [ Current Affairs ]


On 25 February 2016 Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu has presented the Railway Budget 2016 - 17 in the Parliament. This was the second railway budget for Suresh Prabhu and third rail budget of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA government.

Highlights of this Budget:

‘Chalo, Milkar Kuch Naya Karen’ is theme of the budget for overcoming challenges – Reorganize, Rejuvenate, Restructure Indian Railways

Three pillars strategies are

  • Nav Arjan – New revenues,
  • Nav Manak – New norms,
  • Nav Sanrachna – New Structures.

Railway Fares:

  • No new hike in passenger tickets and Goods tickets.
  • Promised to bring down goods rates and double non-tariff revenue for the ailing national transport.

New Initiatives:

For the unreserved passenger:

  • Antyodaya Express superfast unreserved service.
  • Deen Dayalu unreserved coaches with potable water facility and higher number of mobile charging points.

For the reserved passenger:

  • Humsafar: Fully air-conditioned service with an optional service for meals.
  • Tejas: It will operate at speeds of 130 kmph and above and shall showcase the future of train travel in India. It will offer services such as local cuisine, entertainment, Wi-Fi, etc.
  • UDAY (Utkrisht Double-Decker Air-conditioned Yatri) Express: Overnight double-decker expresses on the busiest routes and also upgrades carrying capacity about 40%.

SMART (Specially Modified Aesthetic Refreshing Travel) Coaches: These coaches are designed for higher carrying capacity and provision of new amenities such as:

  • automatic doors,
  • bio-vacuum toilets,
  • bar-code readers,
  • water-level indicators,
  • accessible dustbins,
  • ergonomic seating,
  • vending machines,
  • improved aesthetics,
  • LED lit boards for advertising,
  • entertainment screens,
  • PA system.


  • ‘Clean my Coach’ new SMS service, ranking of A1 and A railway stations based on periodic third party audit and passenger feedback, Awareness campaigns.
  • Waste segregation and recycling centres, additional 30, 000 bio-toilets etc.

Catering and stalls at stations:

  • Catering services will be managed by IRCTC in a phased manner; explore possibility of making catering services optional, build local ownership and empowerment.
  • e-catering is also expanding by railway to all rail stations.
  • IRCTC will make available local cuisine of choice, hygienic food.
  • Travelling mothers, Children’s menu, baby foods, and baby boards will be made available.

Women Quota:

  • Under all reserved categories 33 % sub-quota for women will be provided.
  • Railways will also increase the quota of lower berths for women and senior citizens

Rail Mitra Sewa:

  • Establishment of the existing services for enabling passengers to book battery operated cars, porter services, etc.
  • Expanding Sarathi Seva in Konkan Railway to help the disabled and old passengers.


  • Capacity of e-ticketing system has been enhanced from 2000 tickets per min to 7, 200 per min Railway introduces 1, 780 ticket-vending machines.
  • e-ticket facility for foreign debit, credit card holders

Mobile Applications:

Integrating all facilities into two mobile apps that will deal with ticketing issues and for receipt and it will also redressal of complaints and suggestions.

Pilgrimage centres:

  • The provisions of passenger amenities and beautification on stations at pilgrimage centres including will be undertaken on priority basis.
  • Aastha circuit trains will connect important pilgrim centres.

High Speed Rail:

  • From Mumbai to Ahmedabad will be undertaken with the assistance of the Government of Japan.
  • Prime benefit would be providing technology advancements and new manufacturing capability.


  • Invite FM Radio stations for providing train borne entertainment.
  • Extension of ‘Rail Bandhu’ in all regional languages to all reserved classes of travelers.

Rationalizing the tariff structure:

Tariff policy will be revived to evolve a competitive rate structure, signing long term tariff contracts customers using pre-determined price escalation principles with key freight.

Building terminal capacity:

  • Developing Rail side logistics parks and warehousing in PPP mode, TRANSLOC (Transport Logistics Company of India) will develop 10 goods sheds in 2016 - 17.
  • India’s first rail auto hub will be inaugurated in Chennai.
  • Rail University will come at Vadodara, Gujarat.
  • Development of cold storage facilities on vacant land near freight terminals in which local farmers and fisherman will be given preferential usage of the facility.

Nurturing customers:

Appointing key Customer Managers to liaison major freight stakeholders.

Each Zonal Railway will develop customer commitment charter indicating service level commitments of Indian Railways.

Travel Insurance to passengers:

Optional travel insurance will be offered for rail journeys at the time of booking.

Process Improvements:

  • Finalization of EPC projects standard document to implement at least 20 projects in 2016 - 17. In future, endeavouring all works valuing above Rs. 300 crore through EPC contracts.
  • Contracts based on performance output parameters in order to review service contracts to integrate them outcome focused and simpler.
  • Leveraging technology for project management, using latest drone technology and Geo Spatial based satellite technology for remotely reviewing the physical progress across major projects. GPS-based digital display in coaches for showing upcoming stations.
  • System-wide Information Technology integration through innovative partnership models.

Rail Development Authority:

It will be established as statutory body to enable fair pricing of railway services and promote competition, protect customer interests and determine efficiency standards.


  • Indian Railways will partner with State Governments for operating tourist circuit trains, promotion of tourism through UNESCO world heritage Railways and Railway museums.
  • To spread awareness about our National Animal, the Tiger, complete packages including train journey, safaris and accommodation to cover the wildlife circuit comprising Kanha, Pench and Bandhavgarh will be offered.

- Published on: February 26, 2016