1 Feb 2024

Interim Budget 2024: 40,000 Rail Bogies to Adopt Vande Bharat Standards, Says Nirmala Sitharaman

During her Interim Budget 2024 address, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced a significant initiative to convert 40,000 normal rail bogies to meet Vande Bharat standards, aiming to elevate passenger safety, convenience, and comfort. Additionally, she highlighted three economic railway corridor programs set to be implemented as part of the PM Gati Shakti initiative.

FM Sitharaman emphasized, "The conversion of 40,000 normal rail bogies to Vande Bharat standards will not only enhance safety but also contribute to passenger comfort and convenience." 

The announcement is expected to positively impact railway stocks, with companies like Jupiter Wagons Ltd, Titagarh Rail Systems Ltd, Siemens Ltd, and RVNL Ltd potentially benefiting from the initiative. Sanjay Moorjani, a Research Analyst at SAMCO Securities, noted the potential for job creation, reduced travel time, and increased tourism nationwide.

3 key economic corridor programs outlined

The Finance Minister outlined three key economic corridor programs identified under PM Gati Shakti, aimed at fostering multi-modal connectivity. She explained, "Decongestion of high-traffic corridors will enhance the operations of passenger trains, ensuring safety and higher travel speeds. Coupled with dedicated freight corridors, these initiatives will fuel GDP growth and reduce logistic costs."

Expansion of Metro Rail and NaMo Bharat

Sitharaman also addressed urban transformation through the expansion of Metro Rail and NaMo Bharat, identifying them as catalysts for required development. "Expansion of these systems will be concentrated in large cities, with a focus on transit-oriented development," she stated.

In addition, the Finance Minister highlighted the continued expansion of airports, both existing and new. 

FM Sitharaman further stated that the government will expand and strengthen the e-vehicle ecosystem by supporting manufacturing and charging infrastructure. “Greater adoption of e-buses for public transport networks will be encouraged through payment security mechanism,” she said.

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