Concerns raised over under-utilisation of railway funds

The Standing Committee on Railways has raised concerns over the under-utilisation of railway funds earmarked under the revised estimates (RE). In its 14th report, the standing committee has stated that IR’s fiscal performance in the last three years reveals that the earmarked allocation at the RE stage has not been met in full. According to the committee, the Ministry of Railways’ (MoR) budgeted estimate for 2022-23 was Rs 2,458 billion, which was reduced to Rs 2,453 billion at the RE stage, while the actual expenditure up to January 31, 2023 stood at Rs 1,645.87 billion. Further, in 2021-22, while the RE was kept at Rs 2,150 billion, the actual utilisation was Rs 1,902.67 billion. Similarly, in 2020-21, the RE was Rs 1,616.92 billion whereas the actual expenditure was only Rs 1,551.81 billion. The committee recommended that IR should uphold the government’s aspirations and work towards optimally utilising the proposed allocation of Rs 2,602 billion in 2023-24.