Railway Budget 2014: Highlights

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Railway Budget 2014: Highlights
Railway Minister Sadananda Gowda is presenting his Maiden Railway Budget. Here are live updates:

1:15 pm: Ruckus in parliament over Rail Budget. House adjourned till 2 pm.

1:12 pm: Government to make e-procurement compulsory for procurements over Rs 25 lakh.

1:07 pm: Bangalore to get suburban trains. 

1:06 pm: Monitoring of Eastern & Western Dedicated Freight Corridor Projects; Target of nearly 1000 kms of construction contracts.

1:00 pm: Projects worth over Rs 20,000 are at various stages in Telangana and AP. Suggestions will be taken for economic development through Railways for this region.

12:58 pm: 23 projects underway in the North-East, 11 of them national projects, says Rail Minister

12:55 pm: Future E-Ticketing to support 7200 tickets per minute and to allow 120,000 simultaneous users.

12:52 pm: Parcel traffic to be segregated, have separate terminals, says Gowda. 

12:47 pm: To Have Diamond Quadrilateral Network for High-speed Trains, says Rail Minister. Mobile based wake-up call & updates for all passengers, wi-fi on major stations. 

12:40 pm: Passenger impact: Women RPF constables to oversee women-only coaches to make travel for women safer. Security at trains will be increased by introducing 17,000 constables.

12:37 pm: Passenger impact: Online booking facility of railway retiring rooms will be extended to all stations. Coin-operated automatic ticket vending machines will be experimented.

12:33: PM: Passenger impact: Gowda proposes ready-to-eat meals from brands to be served in trains.

12:33: pm: Passenger impact: Amenities like water supply, shelter, toilets and escalators for senior citizens to be provided.

12:30 pm: FY 2015 total expenditure at Rs 1.49 lakh crore.

12:30 pm: Expect freight traffic growth of 4.9% in FY 2015.

12:28 pm: Spent Rs18,400 crore on doubling 5,050 km tracks in 10 years.

12:23: pm: Seeking FDI in Railways except operations.

12:21: pm: Railways need Rs 5 lakh crore to finish 359 unfinished projects.

12: 18 PM: 676 projects sanctioned, but only 317 projects completed.

12:15 pm: Railway FY 2014 operating ratio at 94%

12:12 pm: Indian railways carry only 31% of the total freight in the country.

12:10 pm: Sadananda Gowda rises to present his first Railway Budget amidst ruckus in Parliament.

11:50 am: Stock markets are trading flat ahead of the Rail Budget. A visionary Budget may lead to a further rally in stocks.

11:30 am: Sadanand Gowda tweets ahead of budget; hope to meet people's expectation.

11:25 am: Rail Budget to be presented at 12 noon. A good 35 minutes to go.

11:15 am: If there is an increase in freight costs it could lead to further escalation in costs of certain products.

11:12 am: The ever smiling Sadananda Gowda poses for pictures outside Parliament.

11:07 am: Funding to meet the expenses of the Railways will be the biggest challenge.

10:40 am: Shares in companies catering to the Railways are trading lower. Sensex, Nifty are down marginally ahead of the Railway Budget.

10:25 am: Railway minister says he cannot promise an immediate smile for travellers.

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