HIGHLIGHTS - Mamata Banerjee unveils 2011/12 railway budget

NEW DELHI Fri Feb 25, 2011 3:58pm IST

A commuter reacts to the camera in a suburban train during the morning rush hour in Mumbai February 25, 2011. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

A commuter reacts to the camera in a suburban train during the morning rush hour in Mumbai February 25, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Danish Siddiqui

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NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Railways Minister Mamata Banerjee presented her third annual budget for state-run Indian Railways in parliament on Friday, freezing passenger fares and freight rates for the coming financial year.

Following are highlights from the budget:

REVENUE:

- No increase in passenger fares in FY 2011/12.

- No increase in freight rates in FY 2011/12.

2011/12 PROJECTIONS:

- Gross traffic receipts estimated at 1.06 trillion rupees ($23.4 billion) in FY 2011/12.

- Passenger numbers estimated to grow by 6.4 percent in coming financial year.

- Freight traffic estimated at 993 million tonnes in the coming financial year.

INVESTMENT:

- Fresh investment of 576.3 billion rupees ($12.68 billion) into Indian Railways in the financial year 2011/12.

- The government to provide 200 billion rupees ($4.4 billion) to Indian Railways in coming financial year.

- Total amount of borrowing by Indian Railways Finance Corporation (IRFC) estimated at 204.54 billion rupees ($4.5 billion) in FY 2011/12

- Tax-free bonds totalling 100 billion rupees ($2.2 billion) to be issued by IRFC in the coming financial year.

- Railways development bank Rail Vikas Nigam Limited to borrow 1.4 billion rupees ($30.9 million) in coming financial year.

- Total public-private partnership investments estimated at 15.26 billion rupees ($336.5 million) in FY 2011/12.

- Prime Minister Manmohan Singh says new budget is "an investment-focused budget".

DEVELOPMENT:

- 1,300 kilometres (808 miles) of new rail lines to be added in FY 2011/12.

- 18,000 new wagons to be purchased.

NEW INITIATIVES:

- Two wagon units to be set up in conjunction with private partners.

- 700 megawatt gas-based captive power plant to be set up.

- "The thrust of the budget of this year is also modernisation and incorporated technology," Banerjee said.

FOCUS ON COMMON MAN:

- "We have taken a two-point approach ... on the one hand by sustainable, efficient and rapidly growing Indian Railways, and on the other, by an acute sense of social responsibility towards the common people of this nation," Banerjee told lawmakers.

- "We have attempted to combine a strong economic focus ... with a human face."

($1 = 45.3 rupees)

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