Budget 2022 May Announce Roadmap for Railway PSUs Merger, Advanced Aluminum Trains for Metros

With a few days left for the Union Budget 2022, an outpouring of suggestions to finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman can be seen from all quarters, particularly for Railways, which is considered the ‘lifeline of India’. The PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI) has recommended that the government consider setting up of the railway line from Pandurangapuram, a neighbourhood in Andhra Pradesh’s Visakhapatnam, to the temple town of Bhadrachalam in Telangana to boost tourism.

It has also urged the re-classification of bauxite from Class 160 to Class 145 and Alumina from Class 180 to Class 170 in the Railways tariff structure for the Budget 2022.

The re-classification of bauxite and reduction in freight costs will encourage additional freight volumes and help generate additional revenue for the Indian Railways.

To facilitate streamlined logistics operations and raw material supply chain, the aluminum and its raw materials can be included in category “C” of Railways Preferential Traffic Order from category “D”.

The PHDCCI has also appealed to the government to include coal and coke for concessional freight rates for Short Lead Goods Traffic that will boost railway revenue by increasing freight volumes and encourage shifting from road to rail for short distances.

It suggested concessional freight by 20% have been extended for distances over 1,400-1,600 km for coal and coke, iron/ steel and iron ore, 15% concessional rates for coal, coke and aluminum metal and raw materials for distance 1,000-1,400 km; 10% concessional rates for coal, coke and aluminum metal and raw materials of the aluminum industry for distance between 500 and 1,000 km; and a 5% concessional rate for coal, coke and aluminum metal and raw materials of for 100-500 km.

According to the Indian Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF) forecast, India will account for 40% of the global share of rain activity by 2050. It further states that FDI inflows in railway-related components stood at £1.23 billion between April 2020 and June 2021.

Sitharaman had announced an allocation of Rs 1.1 lakh crore for the Indian Railways last year to boost infrastructure.

The Centre is expected to announce a roadmap for the merger of six public sector undertakings under the railway ministry this Budget, according to a report by CNBC-TV18.

Ultra-modern and advanced aluminum trains could also be introduced for Metro cities such as Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai, according to Times Now.

The Budget may also announce Hyderabad fuel based trains for clean transportation in India.

The ministry has aimed for zero carbon emission by 2030.

The Indian railways has already started electrification of routes and the 100% target is expected to be achieved by 2023, according to a report by The New Indian Express.

The ministry had said more than 1,000 railway stations obtain their energy requirements from solar panels.

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