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Fri Dec 9, 2016 22:53:11 ISTHomeTrainsΣChainsAtlasPNRForumGalleryNewsFAQTripsLoginFeedback
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Sep 27 2016 (6:48AM)  Cabinet’s formal nod to be sought for Budget on Feb. 1 (www.thehindu.com)
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Rail Budget

News Entry# 281323   Blog Entry# 2003264     
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Posted by: rdb*^  123711 news posts
The Finance Ministry has settled on February 1 as the new date for the presentation of the Union Budget, with the decision expected to be placed before the Cabinet for formal approval “soon”, a senior official of the Ministry told The Hindu .
The Cabinet had last week approved the merger of the railway budget with the general budget and had given an in-principle nod for presenting the Budget earlier than February 28.
“We have decided the date for the Budget to be February 1,” the Finance Ministry official, who did not wish
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to be identified, said. “The formal process of approval by the Cabinet will take place soon.”
The idea behind bringing forward the Budget date, according to the government, is so that ministries and state governments can begin disbursing funds from the beginning of the financial year. At the moment, with the Budget being presented at the end of February, several processes, including the vote on account, result in states being able to disburse funds only by late May. Advancing the Budget date will allow them to release funds by April.
“The Department (of Economic Affairs) has held extensive consultations with the financial advisers of various ministries and departments and the revised calendar has been drawn up,” Economic Affairs Shaktikanta Das told reporters last week. “There is a state of preparedness already in place.”
The decision to change the Budget date, and correspondingly the dates of the Budget session of Parliament, does not require Parliamentary approval, according to M.R. Madhavan, co-founder and current President of the think-tank PRS Legislative Research.
“The decision to change the Budget date is a Cabinet decision,” Mr. Madhavan said. “The Cabinet advises the President and the President summons Parliament. The Parliament has no say on when it meets, the government decides that. This is very clear in the Constitution.”
The government is also reported to be in talks with the Election Commission to make sure that the presentation of the Budget does not clash with the assembly elections that are due to be held next year in States including Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur.
The Ministry of Finance released the Budget circular for the 2017-18 Budget on September 23.
The Cabinet had also approved the removal of the Plan and Non-Plan distinction in government accounts, something Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had proposed in his Budget speech this year.

  
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Sep 27 2016 (6:48AM)
rdb*^   29826 blog posts   351033 correct pred (79% accurate)
Re# 2003264-1            Tags   Past Edits
The Finance Ministry has settled on February 1 as the new date for the presentation of the Union Budget
  
Sep 25 2016 (10:11PM)  ‘Single Budget will ensure funds for all’ (www.thehindu.com)
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Rail Budget

News Entry# 281194   Blog Entry# 2002137     
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Posted by: rdb*^  123711 news posts
Union Minister of State for Railways Rajen Gohain on Friday said a single Budget will help the Ministry of Railways implement development projects all over the country as there would no longer be dearth of funds.
Mr. Gohain said that for long, the Ministry had to handle by itself all its expenditure. “Now, that responsibility will go to the government. Whatever funds are required for the development of railways will be provided by the government,” he said.
On dynamic pricing introduced in select trains, he said they were getting a positive response. Revenue
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was increasing very fast and it was implemented successfully.
On his interest in creating a luxury train in the Northeast, on the lines of ‘palace on wheels,’ Mr. Gohain, who hails from Assam, said they had to create a circuit first. “We have to discuss with all the Northeast States. They have to constitute a team. Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) will run the train and we are now thinking how to make it successful. We are trying to run one such train in the next few months,” he said.
On why Southern Railway did not operate luxury trains in Kerala and Tamil Nadu, he said there was a plan to have glass-topped coaches. Southern Railway General Manager, Vashishta Johri, who was present at the press meet, said IRCTC was in talks with States on their behalf.
Replying to a question on the proposal to install closed circuit television cameras in unreserved women compartments on the New Delhi—Thiruvananthapuram Kerala Express, Mr. Gohain said they were installing cameras at stations. Later, they be installed in compartments.
To a question about Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu’s ‘dream to cover one corner of India with another in 12 hours,’ Mr. Gohain said: “There is no harm in dreaming.” Later in the day, Mr. Gohain flagged off the first ‘Military Langar’ coach made at the Integral Coach Factory, Perambur. The ICF has bagged an order from the Ministry of Defence to make 32 such coaches to help prepare and supply food to soldiers.
Minister of State for Railways says there is good response to dynamic pricing in select trains

  

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Sep 25 2016 (10:15PM)
rdb*^   29826 blog posts   351033 correct pred (79% accurate)
Re# 2002137-1            Tags   Past Edits
SPICK AND SPAN:The brand-new military langer coach, which was commissioned by Union Minister of State for Railways Rajen Gohain and S. Mani, General Manager, ICF, in Chennai on Friday.— PHOTO: M. PRABHU
Mr. Gohain flagged off the first ‘Military Langar’ coach made at the Integral Coach Factory, Perambur. The ICF has bagged an order from the Ministry of Defence to make 32 such coaches to help prepare and supply food to soldiers.
  
Sep 25 2016 (8:40PM)  Finance Ministry begins Budget exercise (www.thehindu.com)
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Rail Budget

News Entry# 281168     
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Posted by: rdb*^  123711 news posts
Issues circular;inter-ministerial meetings from Oct 17
Our Bureau
Kick-starting the Budget-making process for 2017-18, the Finance Ministry on Friday issued the Budget circular highlighting the fresh changes in government accounts that would come into effect from next fiscal.
This includes the advancement of the Budget process and the merger in the distinction of Plan and Non-Plan expenditure.
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the removal of this artificial distinction it is expected that the link between spending and outcomes will improve and become more holistic and focused,” it said, adding that there will be no Five-Year Plan, post the 12th Plan.
The Cabinet had earlier this week approved the proposal to advance the General Budget by a month in order to ensure that it is completed by March 31. It has also cleared the proposal to scrap the distinction between Plan and Non Plan expenditure and merge the Railway Budget with the General Budget.
Along with other nodal ministries, the circular has also been sent to the Financial Commissioner Railways to use the prescribed format for sending its estimates.
All spending classification will be in terms of revenue and capital account. in place of earlier Plan resource estimation, the Ministry of Finance will carry out resource estimation for funding of various Central schemes and programmes as well as central funding for States and UT schemes and programmes in line with the Vision document prepared by the NITI Aayog.
“The budgeting exercise will shift towards a medium term framework to give greater predictability to Ministries about resource availability,” the Ministry further said, adding that all Budgetary allocations would now be made in terms of the Medium Term Expenditure Framework.
Laying out the Budgetary time-line, the Finance Ministry said that nodal departments may submit the Revised Estimates of revenue and expenditure for the current fiscal and the Budget Estimates for 2017-18 by October 10.
  
Sep 25 2016 (8:37PM)  Minister: Budgets merger will bring more funds to Railways (www.thehindu.com)
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Rail BudgetSR/Southern  -  

News Entry# 281164     
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Posted by: rdb*^  123711 news posts
Development works will get a boost’
Our Bureau
The Centre’s decision to merge the Railway Budget with the Union Budget will facilitate better allocation of funds for the Railways, according to Rajen Gohain, Union Minister of State for Railways.
At present, the Railways needs to generate its own funds, which is a major challenge. Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu has announced various development projects for
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Railways, and this requires large funds that will now be allocated from the Union Budget, he told newspersons on his first visit to Chennai after taking over as minister.
Discussions
Gohain said he had a series of discussions with officials of the Southern Railway and representatives from various unions on various issues.
The minister said work on commissioning of 5th and 6th lines between Basin Bridge and Moore Market Complex is going on in full swing. Work on Tambaram terminal is expected to be completed soon.
On the 60-km doubling in the Villupurm-Dindigul section and 17 km of the 4th line between Tiruvallur and Tiruvalangadu have been commissioned. The remaining doubling of 113 km between Villupuram and Dindigul will be completed this year, he said.
The full stretch between Madurai and Chennai will have double line electrified track.
Rail safety
A press release said that to strengthen safety, it has been planned to commission an integrated emergency response management system at a cost of Rs. 70 crore, covering 136 stations under the Nirbhaya Fund. To prevent crime against passengers, 537 mail/express trains are escorted daily by 1,121 Railway Protection Force personnel.
  
Sep 23 2016 (7:17PM)  Crucial panel looking into Railways' finances goes (www.thehindu.com)
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Rail Budget

News Entry# 281002     
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Posted by: rdb*^  123711 news posts
Scrapping of RCC that will end dividend payment to Finance Ministry will help to increase investments in track renewal, maintenance, station improvement and passenger amenities, says a top Railway Ministry official.
As the government decides to merge the Railway budget and the General budget, Union Cabinet on Wednesday scrapped the Railway Convention Committee (RCC), which determines the rate of dividend to be paid to the Finance Ministry, Railway Ministry sources said.
The Committee consisted of 18 members — 12 members of the Lok Sabha and six of the Rajya Sabha. Both the Ministers
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of Railways and Finance were its nominated members. It was constituted in 1949 with the primary role of determining the rate of dividend, modalities of its payment and exemptions. It took on a wider role of examining various subjects related to the working of the Railways and its finances since 1971.
The Cabinet decided on Wednesday that the Railways will not pay dividend to the Finance Ministry for the capital invested in it beginning 2017-18. “Since dividend will no longer be paid, the RCC has been scrapped,” Railway Ministry officials said.
In 2016-17, the Railways were budgeted to pay Rs. 9,731 crore as dividend, whereas the subsidy claimed by the Railways towards loss-making routes was estimated at Rs. 4,301 crore. The net dividend payment to the Finance Ministry was estimated at Rs. 5,430 crore.
“The relief on this count will help us increase investments in track renewal, maintenance, station improvement and passenger amenities,” a top Railway Ministry official said.
However, pension will continue to be a liability of the Railways. In 2016-17, while the pension Bill is pegged at Rs. 45,500 crore, the wage Bill stands at Rs. 70,125 crore. ''The Railways will also bear the social commitment obligation by way of concessions or subsidised travel,” another official said.
  
Sep 23 2016 (7:17AM)  No more rail budget (www.thehindu.com)
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Rail Budget

News Entry# 280911     
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Posted by: rdb*^  123711 news posts
The Railway Budget becoming a part of the General Budget is just like transferring water contained in a smaller vessel to a bigger one. There is nothing more to this (“Centre to do away with rail budget from next year”, Sept. 22 ). The only notable factor is that the Railway Ministry has lost its 92-year-old privilege of presenting a separate Railway Budget. The anxiety that the merger would pave way for privatisation of the Indian Railways is baseless as the Cabinet is competent to implement it even if it is part of the General Budget.
B. Prabha,
Varkala,
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Kerala
Advancing the presentation of the Budget to allow Parliament to vote on tax and spending proposals before the beginning of the new financial year on April 1 is a good idea. It will turn the focus back to the Indian Railways’ crying need to boost its capital expenditure over the next few years. I understand that the demand for merging the Railway Budget with the General Budget had come from the Railways Minister as a solution to addressing the railways’ revenue deficit and capital expenditure needs. Having given away its budgeting powers, the Railways will now have to show the resolve for implementing reforms if it expects the Finance Ministry to loosen its purse strings.
C. Seshagiri,
Mysuru
The origin of the Railway Budget can be traced to the Acworth Committee, appointed in the early 1920s, to deal with railway finances (“Railway Budget, a vanishing trick”, Sept. 22). It was only after careful study that a separate Rail Budget was proposed.
Integrating the Railway Budget with the General Budget in the name of reforms is tantamount to ignoring the true course of historical facts.
N. Sadasivan Pillai,
Kollam, Kerala
  
Sep 23 2016 (7:14AM)  Getting Railways on track (www.thehindu.com)
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Rail Budget

News Entry# 280910     
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Posted by: rdb*^  123711 news posts
That it took 69 years after Independence for India to merge the Railway Budget with the Union Budget is an indication of how difficult it can be to junk colonial-era traditions that may have outlived their utility. In 1924, when the first Railway Budget was presented, the Railways entailed more funds than India’s expenditure on all other aspects of administration combined. So it made sense to present a separate Budget. That equation changed long ago, and now the Railways’ outlay is just 6 per cent of the total expenditure proposed in the Union Budget for this year. In fact, revenues from the domestic aviation business are more than the Railways’ traffic earnings. Nearly Rs.2.5 lakh crore has been planned this year as defence expenditure, but it found little mention in the Finance Minister’s Budget speech. Yet, the ritual of the Rail Budget has continued even as the economy opened up over...
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the past 25 years. A key reason that it lingered so long is India’s fractured polity and the tendency of coalition partners to demand Railways as a juicy portfolio with its possibilities for populist posturing and patronage. With the luxury of a majority in the Lok Sabha and a Railway Minister like Suresh Prabhu who has refused to use the Rail Budget as a launchpad for new trains and railway lines, the NDA has thrown its weight behind a plan that takes away the annual temptation to make the Railways a vote-magnet.
India’s annual economic jamboree will now be over in two days — the tabling of the Economic Survey followed by the Union Budget — instead of three. Railway Ministers will no longer need to conjure up fancy and often regurgitated promises about new, improved services for passengers without charging them the operational costs of reaching their destination. The pressure to hold commuter fares has skewed the Railways’ freight rates, year after year. Indeed, the change is already being felt; tweaking of tariffs outside the Budget has begun. Consider the changes in coal freight and the introduction of flexible pricing on premium passenger trains. However, the Centre needs to now seriously consider setting up an independent tariff regulator to depoliticise fares. New lines and trains should be determined by economic viability rather than the constituencies covered. Initiatives such as demand-driven clone trains must be deployed to boost earnings, and the Rs.37,000-crore tab on social obligations, including concessional ticketing, must be borne by the exchequer. The Railways’ accounts need to be cleaned up and made bankable. Scrapping the Rail Budget is a good starting point to fix the fading utility. Bringing it back safely on track will take a lot more doing, and undoing.
  
Sep 22 2016 (3:01PM)  क्यों आम बजट से अलग पेश किया जाता रहा रेल बजट? (www.totaltraininfo.com)
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Posted by: rks_1975  38 news posts
बजट को लेकर चली आ रही करीब 92 सालों की परंपरा अब खत्म हो जाएगी। अब रेल बजट को आम बजट से अलग पेश नहीं किया जाएगा। यानी अब आम और रेल बजट एक ही बजट में पेश किए जाएंगे।
फैसले की जानकारी देते हुए वित्त मंत्री अरुण जेटली ने बताया, 'बजट पेश करने की तारीख पर फैसला विधानसभा चुनावों को ध्यान में रखकर किया जाएगा।' जाहिर है आज के फैसले के बाद लोगों के मन में ये सवाल जरूर उठा होगा की अब तक ऐसा क्यों होता रहा कि दोनों बजट को अलग-अलग पेश किया जाता रहा।
रेलवे
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के मैनेजमेंट में बदलाव:
1921 में ईस्ट इंडिया रेलवे कमेटी के चेयरमैन सर विलियम एक्वर्थ रेलवे को एक बेहतर मैनेजमेंट सिस्टम में लाए थे। इसके बाद उन्‍होंने 1924 में इसे आम बजट से अलग पेश करने का फैसला किया तब से लेकर पिछले बजट वह अलग ही पेश होता रहा है।
रेल बजट की हिस्सेदारी 1924 के आम बजट में करीब 70 फीसदी थी। इतनी बड़ी हिस्सेदारी को देखकर ही इसे आम बजट से अलग करने का विलियम के प्रस्ताव को स्‍वीकार लिया गया।
आम बजट में इतनी बड़ी हिस्‍सेदारी के पीछे मुख्‍य कारण पब्लिक ट्रांसपोर्ट में 75 फीसदी रेलवे की भागीदारी थी। इसके अलावा माल ढुलाई में 90 फीसदी तक का योगदान होता था।
रेलवे देश की सबसे बड़ी न्योक्ता है। वर्ष 2009 में अखिल भारतीय लेखापरीक्षा और लेखा एसोसिएशन की रिपोर्ट में रेलवे के कर्मचारी कुल केंद्रीय कर्मचारियों का 44 फीसदी हैं।
भारतीय रेलवे ने वर्ष 2013-14 में 23 बिलियन डॉलर का रेवेन्‍यू अर्जित किया। जिसमें से करीब 2.5 बिलियन डॉलर का उसे प्रॉफिट हुआ। रेलवे का क्षेत्र दिन पर दिन बढ़ता ही जा रहा है।
भारतीय रेल से हर साल करीब 23 मिलियन यात्री यात्रा करते हैं।
रेलवे का नेटवर्क काफी बड़ा है। करीब 115,000 किमी के ट्रैक बनाए जा चुके हैं। जिनमें करीब 65,000 से अधिक किलोमीटर के मार्ग शामिल हो चुके हैं। देशभर में करीब 7,172 स्‍टेशन और जिनपर हर दिन करीब 12,617 पैसेंजर ट्रेन और 7421 माल गाड़िया दौड़ती हैं।
भारतीय रेल अपने उत्पादन और विकास पर भी खुद ही ध्यान देता है। साथ ही यह देश के लिए लगभग एक तिहाई माल का भार वहन करता है। उत्पादन सुविधाओं में जैसे इंजन और डिब्बों के उत्पादन सीधे रेल मंत्रालय के तहत आते हैं।
भारतीय रेलवे के साथ करीब 14 अन्‍य सहायक उपक्रम शामिल हैं। भारत कंटेनर निगम लिमिटेड (कॉनकोर) और इंडियन रेलवे कैटरिंग एंड टूरिज्म कॉरपोरेशन (आईआरसीटीसी) इन 14 उपक्रमों में से ही हैं।
  
Sep 22 2016 (7:36AM)  Dropping separate rail budget is a ticket to privatisation: Ex-rail Ministers (www.thehindu.com)
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News Entry# 280845     
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Posted by: rdb*^  123711 news posts
It will become just another department to be toyed with rather than being used for public good, says Dinesh Trivedi
The end of autonomy and a move towards privatisation were some of the conclusions that were drawn by former Railway Ministers Nitish Kumar and Dinesh Trivedi over the Union Cabinet’s decision to merge the Railway and Union budgets.
Mr. Trivedi said the merging of the budgets could be the first step towards privatisation of the Railways, stating that whatever the merits of the measure, the move smacked of unilateralism.
“This
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was an issue that should have been discussed in Parliament as the separation convention that demerged the two budgets in 1924 had been brought in through legislative means. To say that the measure is a blow against colonialism is neither here nor there. Our entire political system is based on the Westminster model and our statute book awash with colonial laws. We could have scrapped all those as well,” he said.
“The separation convention was set up in 1924 as the Railways were seen as a commercial activity funded by the British government and dividends were to be paid to shareholders. The designation of the Railways as a commercial activity is still there. Does the scrapping of the separation convention mean that it will see a generational change for the Railways, or that the man sitting in Buxar, needing rail connectivity know what is the process he will have to go through?” he said. “It is a move that would gladden the heart of the Railway Minister, who can pass on his pressures to the Finance Minister, and in my view it will pave the way towards privatisation, as it will become just another department to be toyed with rather than being used for public good,” he said.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who was Railway Minister under the premiership of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, said the decision would end the “autonomy” of the largest public carrier in the country. His deputy in the Cabinet Tejaswi Yadav too charged that it was a privatisation move.
“With my personal experience as a former Railway Minister I can say this decision of the Union Cabinet will not benefit the Railways. Instead, this step will end its autonomy,” said Mr. Kumar, while seeking a rethink.
A tradition for long
He said presenting a separate budget for the Railways had been a tradition which all successive governments followed. “The Railways have been the cheapest mode of transportation for the people of the country but with this decision of the Union government the faith of the common people in it will be dented,” he said.
Mr. Tejaswi Yadav said, “In future the Railway Ministry will cease to exist.”
His father and RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav too has been the Railway Minister. “During my father’s tenure, the Railways had earned huge profit but see the situation today,” he told journalists.
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