Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, while presenting the Budget for 2019-20 on Friday, said that railway infrastructure would need an investment of Rs 50 lakh crores between 2018 and 2030. She proposed that a public private partnership (PPP) be used to unleash faster development and delivery of passenger freight services for railway projects to boost the connectivity. “Railways will be encouraged to invest in suburban railways through special purpose vehicles (SPVs) and enhance metro rail network through PPPs,” she said. Government envisions using rivers for cargo transportation, which will also decongest roads and railways, Sitharaman added. She also announced that railway stations modernisation will be launched this year. This was the 89th Union budget and also be the maiden budget for Sitharaman, who became the second woman Finance Minister after Indira Gandhi. The Railway Budget was also be presented today along with the Union Budget. Till the year 2016, the Union Budget was presented on the last working day of February. Former Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had changed the tradition in 2017 when the Union Budget was presented on February 1. In the interim Budget earlier this year, the then Finance Minister Piyush Goyal had given Capital support from the budget for railways at Rs 64,587 crore in 2019-20. The Railways’ overall capital expenditure programme was Rs 1,58,658 crore.