The railway budget, which was for the first time merged with the Union budget 2017, got a short mention by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. He announced capital and development expenditure for railways at Rs 1,31,000 crore in FY2018 from Rs 1,21,000 crore in FY2017.
Following two recent major rail accidents that led to the death of 200 people, the Indian Railways will now be focussing on creating a corpus of Rs 1 lakh crore over a period of five years for rail safety. The railways is also working on fencing tracks to prevent animal movement and tampering of tracks.
The finance minister did not mention any fare hike for passengers in Budget 2017, which will be a reprieve for the common man. He announced a new metro rail policy which will open up new jobs for youth in a push towards job creation.
The government in its bid to increase use of clean energy will be transforming at least 7,000 railways stations into solar-powered stations.
The government, which is also focussed on improving hygiene, will convert all toilets on railway coaches to bio-degradable.
The finance minister also announced that service charge would be removed for bookings done online over IRCTC website.
After the announcements for the railways were completed, various companies associated with the railways and listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange faced a slump in the markets.
Texmaco rail's share at 2.40 pm IST was 2.91 percent lower and was being traded at Rs. 103.55. Kalindee Rail Nirman's stock at 2.41 pm IST was 4.08 percent lower and was traded at Rs 109.30. Titagarh Wagons's stock at 2.41 pm IST was 5.48 percent lower at Rs 109.55. KEC International's shares was the only gainer, with an increase in its share price by 2.36 percent. It was trading at Rs 151.65 at 2.43 pm IST.