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Indian Railways allocated Rs 2.52 lakh crore for FY 2024-25 in Interim Budget, Ashwini Vaishnaw says "Unprecedented allocation"

New Delhi: Union Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw on Thursday said that an unprecedented budget allocation has been made towards the railway sector in the Interim Budget for the financial year 2024-25, which was presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

Ashwini Vaishnaw informed that Indian Railways has been allotted a total of Rs 2.52 lakh crore outlay for the financial year 2024-25.

"PM Modi changed the entire strategy (for Railways) over the last 10 years, and now the focus is being made on investment to modernize the Railways. For this year, the budget that has been allocated for the Railways is Rs 2.52 lakh crore," the Railways minister said.

Highlighting the budget allocation of several states in the Railways sector, Ashwini Vaishnaw said, "In a land where so much innovation is happening, Tamil Nadu has received an outstanding outlay of Rs 6,331 crore to carry out several rail infrastructure and safety projects."

"Kerala has received an exceptional outlay of Rs 2,744 crores for several rail infrastructure and safety projects," the Railways Minister said, adding that Himachal Pradesh is set to get Rs 2,681 crore for similar projects.

Stating that 100 percent electrification of the railway network has been achieved in Haryana, the Railways Minister informed that Rs 2,861 crore has been allocated for the development of railways in the state.
Earlier today, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced in her Interim Budget speech for FY 2024-25 that for Railways, three major economic railway corridor programs will be implemented- energy, mineral and cement corridors, port connectivity corridors, and high traffic density corridors.

Putting a thrust on boosting domestic tourism, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday said that the tourism infrastructure and amenities will be taken up on our islands, including Lakshadweep.
The Union Finance Minister, while presenting the Interim Budget 2024 also stated that the success of organising G20 meetings in sixty places presented a diversity of India to a global audience.

"To address the emerging fervour for domestic tourism, projects for port connectivity, tourism infrastructure, and amenities will be taken up on our islands, including Lakshadweep. This will also help in generating employment," Sitharaman said.

Underlining the government's commitment to stability in taxation and a strategic approach to encourage economic growth, the Finance Minister proposed to make no changes in the taxation structure, which can be seen as a relief to taxpayers.

"In keeping with convention, I do not propose to make any changes relating to taxation and propose to retain the same tax rates for direct and indirect taxes, including import duties. However, certain tax benefits to startups and investments made by sovereign wealth or pension funds, as well as tax exemptions on certain income of some IFSC units, are expiring on March 31 2024; to provide continuity, I propose to extend the date to March 31, 2025," the Finance Minister said.

The Finance Minister concluded her budget presentation with a positive outlook, signalling the government's determination to continue fostering inclusive growth and development. The Interim Budget 2024 is expected to undergo thorough scrutiny and debate in the coming days in Parliament as stakeholders assess its potential impact on the nation's economic trajectory.

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