Indian Railways, the mammoth public sector undertaking, has sought nearly Rs 80,000 crore under gross budgetary support for the next financial year starting April 1 but it may receive Rs 60,000-65,000 crore, sources familiar with the matter told CNBC-TV18.
"The finance ministry has indicated to the railways that they can provide some 10 percent more than the current year's gross budgetary support number which is Rs 55,088 crore. So the expectation is somewhere between Rs 60,000-65,000 crore," one of the sources said, requesting anonymity.
Railways is likely to keep a capital expenditure (capex) target of around Rs 1.60 lakh crore, however, the earlier estimate was Rs 1.78 lakh crore.
"A meeting was held between the finance ministry officials and railway officers and after those discussions, the target has now been trimmed. It may be around Rs 1.60 lakh crore but the figures are yet to be formalised... that will be in another 10 days or so," another source said.
The union budget for 2018-19 allocated Rs1.48 lakh crore for Indian Railways to increase its carrying capacity and improve travel experience. Of this, Rs 1.46 lakh crore was capital expenditure.
"Strengthening the railway network and enhancing railways' carrying capacity has been a major focus of the government. Railways' capex for the year 2018-19 has been pegged at Rs 1,48,528 crore. A large part of the capex is devoted to capacity creation. 18,000 km of doubling, third and fourth line works and 5,000 km of gauge conversion would eliminate capacity constraints and transform the almost entire network into Broad Gauge," finance minister Arun Jaitley had said in his budget speech in February.
The expenses incurred by Railways are met by three components, comprising gross budgetary support, borrowings and internal resources.
In terms of borrowings, CNBC-TV18 has learnt that borrowings for next fiscal are likely to be higher than the current year's borrowing figure of Rs 80,000 crore.
First Published: IST