The cash-strapped railways is understood to have got an approval of Rs 25,000 crore as gross budgetary support (GBS) from Finance Ministry for the fiscal 2012-13.
The national transporter, facing financial crisis due to various reasons, had asked for Rs 50,000 crore as GBS to carry out several rail infrastructure projects. Last year, it had got Rs 20,000 crore as the GBS for 2011-12.
"The approval for Rs 25,000 crore, an increase of Rs 5,000 crore from the last year as GBS from Finance Ministry came yesterday," sources in the railways said. The Railway Budget will be presented in Lok Sabha on March 14 followed by the General Budget on March 16.
The increase of just Rs 5,000 crore from last year in GBS is being considered as a dampner as Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi had pitched for higher fund allocation to undertake massive modernisation work.
This may lead to severe cutting in expenditure for infrastructure projects like laying new lines, new rolling stock acquisition and electrification, among others, they said.
Trivedi has maintained that the railways require massive overhaul to take the transporter to the next generation.
Recently two expert committees - Kakodkar Committee and Pitroda Committee - appointed to suggest safety and modernisation measures, recommended for atleast Rs 70,000 crore in a year to carry out upgradation work.
The installation of train protection warning system to prevent accidents, replacement of conventional coaches with LHB coaches, high speed train set, elimination of level crossings and improving amenties at trains and stations are some of the priorities of the railways in the 2012-13 Budget.