Both the railway ministry and highway ministry have yet again topped the list of capital allocation in the budget 2023-24. The capital allocation to the highway ministry for 2023-24 stands at ₹2,58,605 crore, while the railway ministry has got a central capital allocation of ₹2,40,000 crore. Both the ministries account for almost half of the total capital expenditure estimate of ₹10 lakh crore in the budget.

The allocation to the highway ministry is up 38% from allocation of ₹1,87,744 crore. Importantly, in the revised estimates for the current financial year too, the allocation has been enhanced to ₹2,06,302 crore. It may be noted that even though the ministry of highways has got a higher allocation in absolute terms than the railways ministry, the allocation to the railways is higher in terms of percentage over the amount granted last year.

Capital allocation to the railway ministry for 2023-24 at ₹2,40,000 crore is up a whopping 75% over ₹1,37,100 allocated to the ministry in 2022-23. Like the highway ministry, the allocation to the railways ministry too has been increased to ₹1,59,100 in the revised estimate for the current financial year.

The railway ministry will spend towards new lines, doubling, and track renewals, among others. The capital outlay on the new lines is to the tune of ₹31,850 crore, up from the revised estimate FY23, at ₹24,914 crore. The ministry will spend ₹30,749 crore on the doubling projects.

The other government departments that have been allocated a higher share in the capex outlay are telecom, housing, and atomic energy ministry. The ministry of atomic energy has got a capital allocation of ₹15,981 crore in 2023-24, compared with ₹14,283 crore in the current financial year. Telecom too has been a major sector with allocation to the tune of ₹63,088 crore. Also, capital outlay to defence stands at ₹1,62,600 crore.

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