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Sep 22 2016 (06:50)  Railway Budget, a vanishing trick, writes K. Balakesari (www.thehindu.com)
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Rail Budget

News Entry# 280827   Blog Entry# 1999227     
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Posted by: rdb*^  124865 news posts
The hurry to bury the standalone Budget points to obfuscation under the smokescreen of reforms
So finally, the almost century-old practice of presenting a separate Railway Budget ahead of the General Budget is to be dispensed with from the next financial year (2017-18), and the Railway Budget “merged” with the General Budget. The Union Cabinet has just cleared the proposal.
What are the reported reasons for this merger? According to earlier media reports, a separate Railway Budget is being dispensed with so that the Indian Railways need not pay the annual dividend to
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the Government of India on the budgetary support given each year, saving the financially stressed Railways about Rs.10,000 crore annually; over the years, the Budget has been misused by politicians as a populist platform to enhance their own image; no other Ministry has a separate budget and the practice exists in no other country today; the Bibek Debroy Committee has recommended discontinuance of a separate Rail Budget and it is part of the Prime Minister’s reform programme. Besides, it is a colonial legacy.
A point particularly stressed by the Finance Minister in the press conference announcing the Cabinet decision was that the Railways’ share in the General Budget has progressively reduced over the years, making a separate budget an anachronism.
Each of these “reasons” does not present the true or complete picture. It is necessary to separate fact from fiction.
It is a review
There have been sporadic calls in the past for doing away with a separate Railway Budget for various reasons, but the matter was never pursued seriously. One of the more publicised reasons is that it will free the Railways of the obligation of paying the annual dividend, as mentioned earlier. This is only partly true. The dividend is paid not only on the budgetary support extended during a year but also on the total “capital at charge” which includes the gross budgetary support (GBS) of previous years. By this merger, a “loan-in-perpetuity” is converted to a grant. Shorn of officialese, it is a loan waiver; and loan waivers are granted to individuals or institutions in extreme financial distress — something not to go to town about.
In popular imagination, the Railway Budget was seen as a grand spectacle, with the Railway Minister using it as a platform for populism and political grandstanding. What is not appreciated is that the Budget is not merely a statement of allotment of funds to various projects and programmes, unlike other ministries, but comprises a fairly detailed performance review, physical and financial, of the previous year and prospects for the current (Budget) year. Perhaps nowhere in the world is a political functionary called upon to present a financial report card of the country’s largest public undertaking in the full glare of publicity. A separate post-Budget discussion in Parliament on the Railways, as indicated by the Finance Minister, is no substitute, as the focus most likely will be on allotments to various projects, not on financial performance.
Talking of populism, the recent announcement by the Finance Minister of the proposal to set up a new Railway zone to placate a State government as part of a “special package” is proof that it is possible to be “populist” outside a separate budget.
Why should there be a separate budget for the Railways? The fact is that the Railways is indeed unlike any other Central ministry in size and scope: It is an operational ministry; it earns as well as spends, unlike other ministries that only spend. Its gross earnings (Rs.1.68 lakh crore in 2015-16) are among the highest for any Indian organisation, public or private; it has a staff strength (13.2 lakh) that exceeds that of the Indian Army; it fully meets the pension liabilities of its retired employees (13.8 lakh) out of its own earnings unlike other ministries; it follows an accounting practice, though not up to the standards of a purely commercial establishment, that has a number of features of a commercially-run organisation. So, if the Railways is to be treated like other ministries, will the government also fund its pension liabilities which are estimated to be about Rs.45,500 crore in 2016-17? That should be some “savings” indeed!
Part of a package
Perhaps the most misquoted reason given for the merger is that the Bibek Debroy Committee has recommended it. That is being economical with the facts. The committee has recommended it not as a stand-alone step, but as part of a slew of measures such as: complete overhaul of the project financing architecture of the Railways involving ruthless weeding out of unviable/long-pending projects; comprehensive accounting reforms; separation of infrastructure and operations; and setting up of a rail regulatory authority. Pending these steps, each of which is a major project in itself (some politically sensitive), the move to give a hasty send-off to the Railway Budget is perplexing.
The Railway Budget is indeed a colonial legacy; but so are English, the Railways, Rashtrapati Bhavan and the sedition law. Enough said. All this is not to say that the Railway Budget is a holy cow that cannot be touched. Far from it. The question is not “why”, but “why such a hurry to bury it”?
The answer, in one word: Obfuscation. By all accounts, the Railways’ financial position is precarious due to the triple whammy of a fall in revenues, a sudden spike in expenditure due to implementation recommendations of the Seventh Pay Commission, and an increasingly unsustainable interest burden on market borrowings. A separate Budget would have meant having to openly declare an operating ratio in excess of 1.0 (in layman’s language, that means one is living beyond one’s means): not a very good advertisement for a system that aspires to have high-speed tilting Talgo trains shortly and Bullet trains in the not-too-distant future. So why not banish and “vanish” the Railway Budget into anonymity as one of the myriad annexures in the General Budget and earn a fat “bonus” of about Rs.10,000 crore in the bargain? A smart move indeed! It seems now the Budget is more valuable dead than alive. However, what should be a matter of serious concern to the aam aadmi is that the Railways’ finances are sought to be shored up, not by improving efficiency, increasing revenues and cutting costs, but through a dexterous bureaucratic sleight of hand, taking cover behind the smokescreen of “reforms”.
Finally, a suggestion to the government: Do not throw the baby out with the bathwater; table an annual “Indian Railways Report” in Parliament on the lines of the Reserve Bank of India’s Economic Survey. That will signal reforms with transparency.
K. Balakesari is former Member Staff, Railway Board.
Keywords: Railway Budget, General budget

  
610 views
Sep 22 2016 (19:10)
For Better Managed Indian Railways~   1859 blog posts
Re# 1999227-1            Tags   Past Edits
Treatment given to IR by govt of India is surprising,
(1) why it force IR to pay annual dividend on amounts allocated to it in past when other ministries are not paying any
(2) why it force IR to bear subsidy for the social causes like operating uneconomical branch lines, subsidised suburban, second class travel etc which is a duty of Central Govt and not the Rly ministry
(3)why
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it force its pay recommendation on IR if it does not pay the same for Rly employees
(4) why it does not bear pension of employees of IR when it bears the same for other ministries. During and before independence IR was financially strong (revenue 70% of General budget) and carried more than three fourth of national frieght and was more capable than Govt. of India to pay for the salary & pension. Where as today IR is financially weak with about one fourth of market share of national traffic, govt of India which has much more financial might should bear pension burden like other ministries.
There are even more problems with Rly ministry. There are genuine apprehensions of FM fir the Rly ministry like:
(1) why IR (RM) does not take financially correct route of governing IR & want to run IR for his/her political interests which entails a huge financial loss.
(2) Why it want to run a parallel state as well as central government and fritter away its scarce resources and by meddling into the area of other ministries like Education-(Schools, colleges), Health-(Hospitals), Urban development & State Govts (Metro train) and so on. FM will not like to help & pay for the ministry headed by a brother who tends to act as a dominating father.
(3) RMs invariably running new trains, allocating for new projects to choicest routes/ destinations often defying/ bypassing the guidelines lineated by FM directly or indirectly.
(4) FM painstakingly collects revenue from myriad of sources/agencies and why would he like to give more money to Rly Ministry if the money is not being efficiently put to effective and productive use?
  
Sep 22 2016 (06:40)  Railways will stop paying dividend to Finance Ministry (www.thehindu.com)
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Rail Budget

News Entry# 280826     
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Posted by: rdb*^  124865 news posts
Union Cabinet scraps Railway Convention Committee that was constituted in 1949.
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 from Lok Sabha and six members from Rajya Sabha. Both the Ministers of Railways and Finance are nominated members of the Committee. It was constituted in 1949 with the primary role of determining
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the rate of dividend, modalities of its payment and exemptions. It took on a wider role of examining various subjects related to working of the Railways and its finances since 1971.
The Union Cabinet decided on Wednesday that 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 is budgeted to pay Rs. 9,731 crore as dividend whereas the subsidy claimed by Railways towards loss-making routes is estimated at Rs. 4,301 crore. The net dividend payment to the Finance Ministry is 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 21 2016 (22:35)  Understanding the economics of budgets merger (www.thehindu.com)
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Rail Budget

News Entry# 280815   Blog Entry# 1998455     
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Posted by: rdb*^  124865 news posts
What prompted the government to take the decision now? How does an early budget help? Here are the answers.
Ending a 92-year-old tradition, the Union Cabinet on Wednesday decided to merge the Railway budget with the General budget and agreed in principle to advance the date of its presentation in Parliament.
Why is the Rail budget presented separately in the first place?
Railway historians
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say that it was during the British rule — in the early 1920s — that on the basis of the report of the Acworth Committee, railway finances (those of government-owned railway companies) were separated from the general finances.
The first Railway budget, under the system, can be traced to 1924.
Why change now?
The move to discard the Rail budget is said to be part of the Modi government’s reform agenda. The NITI Aayog had suggested this merger as the Railway budget was being used to dole out favours by way of new trains and projects.
This merger is also a part of the government advancing the budgetary exercise so as to complete it before March 31 and facilitate the beginning of expenditure on public-funded schemes from April 1.
How is it beneficial?
The merger will help the Railways get rid of the annual dividend they has to pay for gross budgetary support from the government every year. Sources say that the merger will help the cash-strapped Railways save about Rs 10,000 crore annually.
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu said the merger of rail and general budgets will not impact the functional autonomy of the railways but help in enhancing capital expenditure. It would help the Railways raise extra capital expenditure that would allow them to enhance connectivity in the country and boost economic growth.
How does an early budget help?
An early presentation of budget will ensure that all legislative works are completed before the beginning of the new fiscal, from April, and help in funds allocated to various ministries flowing in from the first quarter.
Sources said the government planned to convene the Budget Session of Parliament before January 25, 2017, present the pre-Budget Economic Survey a day or two before the Finance Minister reads out the budget on February 1.
The advance estimates for the GDP will now be made on January 7, instead of February 7, and mid-year review of expenditure by various ministries is proposed to be completed by November 15.
The idea is to get the budget passed by Parliament, along with the Appropriation Bill and the Finance Bill, before March 24, so as to ensure the implementation of the budget proposals from April 1.
Keywords: General budget, Railway budget, Suresh Prabhu, budget merger

  
1304 views
Sep 22 2016 (00:07)
For Better Managed Indian Railways~   1859 blog posts
Re# 1998455-1            Tags   Past Edits
(1) Advancement of the budget timing with a motive to start implementation of budget proposals from day-1 i.e. April 1 is a highly commendable action. How can we expect budget proposals to be timely implemented throughout the year if the beginning itself is delayed? This action truly reflects the PMs statement that days of "Chalega" "Dekhna hai" attitude are over and now Govt means timely action.
(2) Actual benefit of Rs 10000 crores for IR is at the mercy of finance minister, who can increase or decrease the gross budgetary support to IR at his will.
(3)If
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"Presentation of railway budget means doling out favors by way of new trains" (more to favoured state and less to others). Then does "abolishing of Railway budget" means doling of new regular (normal fare) trains to favoured states and Suvidha/ special fare train for the others? There are no norms where to run a "regular train with normal fare" and where to run the dreaded "suvidha/special fare" ones.
(4) Merger of Rail budget into General budget shall be beneficial only if the de-politicisation actually takes place. Merger is no guarantee of depoliticisation. Now RM can easily do away without giving anything to a particular state and even MPs of the particular state shall be helpless as there will no need to discuss and pass any rail budget in the parliament.

  
1385 views
Sep 22 2016 (00:13)
Merry Christmas~   3977 blog posts   37 correct pred (62% accurate)
Re# 1998455-2            Tags   Past Edits
/blog/post/1998169
IR can very soon privatise its premier trains or these will be completely called off.

  
1394 views
Sep 22 2016 (00:17)
For Better Managed Indian Railways~   1859 blog posts
Re# 1998455-3            Tags   Past Edits
Privatisation is essential at his juncture to bring in efficiency in railway operations.

  
879 views
Sep 22 2016 (11:17)
Merry Christmas~   3977 blog posts   37 correct pred (62% accurate)
Re# 1998455-4            Tags   Past Edits
All the so called subsidies will be rolled back and it will hit the lower middle class and BPL class the most..

  
740 views
Sep 22 2016 (15:16)
For Better Managed Indian Railways~   1859 blog posts
Re# 1998455-5            Tags   Past Edits
“Subsidy” gives a wrong impression in context of IR passenger fares. Even Niti Ayog has concluded that Fares of AC2,ACC,ACI,EC are much morehigher than the equivalent Luxury Bus fares. Still IR is losing on these classes. The loss is because of excessive resources used by IR (i.e. internal inefficiencies) and not due to low fare as IR claims. Similarly the so called under recovery or subsidy say 50 Rs. per 100 Rs. spent by IR in second class is made up of two components. (1) Extra input by way of inefficiency or financially imprudent ways of working of IR (which may be 25Rs) and (2) lower fare than the reasonable economic value (which then shall be 25Rs).
If inefficiencies in IR can
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be clipped down, the costing itself shall come down to Rs 75 instead of 100. The above ac classes shall be profitable at present fares.The subsidy burden shall actually be halved even without increasing fare. The general class fares which had not been increased for a decade are today reduced to a ridiculously low level needs correction, but can be managed with reasonable escalation for coming few years without much troubling the people.
If done properly, privatisation in Rly sector can bring in efficiency as has been observed in road and airline sectors, the costing of a seat is likely to be drastically reduced mainly through efficient use of huge resources which IR deploys for conducting its business, rather than increase of fares.
(1) Privatisation has to be brought to bring in competition and improve the efficiency rather than to eliminate the govt role altogether. Nothing should be left totally in the hands of govt. or pvt. Players, else the results will be disastrous. Best way out is to let pvt. Players and govt owned companies compete with each other and customer have a choice to select the best suited service. Presence of govt ensure elimination of looting of consumers through formation of cartel amongst pvt. Companies.
(2) Telecom sector is the best example where govt. owned BSNL is competing with plethora of pvt sector companies and public is benefitted through reasonable price of the services availed. Take the case of airlines, bus operators, taxi operators where intense competition between pvt. & govt. players result in very high efficiency of operation and passengers are reaping the benefit.
(3) In case of railway transport in India, there is monopoly of govt. owned IRlys, hence there had been little improvement in working practices. We see trains running with astonishingly low occupancies even below 10% running for months and years causing huge financial losses which adds to the costing of IR. If we start enumerating inefficient operations in IR, the list will run into several pages. All these adds drastically to the losses or increase the cost of seat/ berth offered
(4) Huge advantages that monopolistic IR enjoy over road & air transporters
- Energy is supposed to be the main cost component in transportation, rail transport consume one sixth the energy consumed in road transport, and even lesser than air transport.
- Economies of scale- One truck usually carry 15-20T as against about 4000-5000T by railways. One bus carry about 40-50 passengers as against about 1000-2000 passengers by train.
(5) Even after the above advantages, employee cost of IR is huge 68% of total IR revenue. Whereas road operators in spite of inherent disadvantages are making handsome profits and expanding their business at rapid pace.
The solution lies mostly in adopting innovation and out-of-box thinking and critical evaluation of every activity of IR and eliminating activities which are redundant today due to automation/ technological development. There are two aspects,
-1- IR is using too many resources than it should be. Cost control is required by actions like
o Elimination of the unnecessary posts, activities
o Transferring resource consuming and unrelated entities like schools, colleges, hospitals, Metro trains etc to respective deptts. Like Education, Health, Urban Development/State Govts and many more.
o Identification of loss making entities like trains, stations, projects & Rationalisation of the same to reduce/ eliminate losses.
o Study of the facilities provided to passengers, employees, vendors, coolies etc. The facilities enhancing productivity has to be encouraged, the unnecessary ones need to be rationalised.
-2- IR is not generating sufficient revenue because the resources are not put to optimum use. Introducing trains without adequate market survey many a times on the routes with very low demand. Investing the scarce resources on financially unjustified lines with very low or negative rate of return.
  
The Union Cabinet has approved the proposals of Ministry of Finance on certain landmark budgetary reforms relating to (i) the merger of Railway budget with the General budget, (ii) the advancement of the date of Budget presentation from the last day of February and (iii) the merger of the Plan and the Non-Plan classification in the Budget and Accounts. All these changes will be put into effect simultaneously from the Budget 2017-18.
Merger of Railway Budget with the General Budget:
The arrangements for merger of Railway budget with the General budget have been
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approved by the Cabinet with the following administrative and financial arrangements-
(i) The Railways will continue to maintain its distinct entity -as a departmentally run commercial undertaking as at present;
(ii) Railways will retain their functional autonomy and delegation of financial powers etc. as per the existing guidelines;
(iii)The existing financial arrangements will continue wherein Railways will meet all their revenue expenditure, including ordinary working expenses, pay and allowances and pensions etc. from their revenue receipts;
(iv)The Capital at charge of the Railways estimated at Rs.2.27 lakh crore on which annual dividend is paid by the Railways will be wiped off. Consequently, there will be no dividend liability for Railways from 2017-18 and Ministry of Railways will get Gross Budgetary support. This will also save Railways from the liability of payment of approximately Rs.9,700 crore annual dividend to the Government of India;
The presentation of separate Railway budget started in the year 1924, and has continued after independence as a convention rather than under Constitutional provisions.
The merger would help in the following ways:
· The presentation of a unified budget will bring the affairs of the Railways to centre stage and present a holistic picture of the financial position of the Government.
· The merger is also expected to reduce the procedural requirements and instead bring into focus, the aspects of delivery and good governance.
· Consequent to the merger, the appropriations for Railways will form part of the main Appropriation Bill.
Advancement of the Budget presentation:
The Cabinet has also approved, in principle, another reform relating to budgetary process, for advancement of the date of Budget presentation from the last day of February to a suitable date. The exact date of presentation of Budget for 2017-18 would be decided keeping in view the date of assembly elections to be held in States.
This would help in following ways:
· The advancement of budget presentation by a month and completion of Budget related legislative business before 31st March would pave the way for early completion of Budget cycle and enable Ministries and Departments to ensure better planning and execution of schemes from the beginning of the financial year and utilization of the full working seasons including the first quarter.
· This will also preclude the need for seeking appropriation through 'Vote on Account' and enable implementation of the legislative changes in tax; laws for new taxation measures from the beginning of the financial year.
Merger of Plan and Non Plan classification in Budget and Accounts:
The third proposal approved by the Cabinet relates to the merger of Plan and Non Plan classification in Budget and Accounts from 2017-18, with continuance of earmarking of funds for Scheduled Castes Sub-Plan/Tribal Sub-Plan. Similarly, the allocations for North Eastern States will also continue.
This would help in resolving the following issues:
· The Plan/Non-Plan bifurcation of expenditure has led to a fragmented view of resource allocation to various schemes, making it difficult not only to ascertain cost of delivering a service but also to link outlays to outcomes.
· The bias in favour of Plan expenditure by Centre as well as the State Governments has led to a neglect of essential expenditures on maintenance of assets and other establishment related expenditures for providing essential social services.
· The merger of plan and non-plan in the budget is expected
to provide appropriate budgetary framework having focus on the revenue, and capital expenditure.
*****
AKT/VBA/SH

(Release ID :150987)

  
1376 views
Sep 21 2016 (22:28)
Kishor*^~   4490 blog posts   123 correct pred (62% accurate)
Re# 1998382-1            Tags   Past Edits
1-after this step of merging General Budget and IR budget,
2- second step will be to streamline the Budget period with World Budgets. and hence
3- The next budget may have 9 months period from April to Dec.
  
Sep 21 2016 (15:11)  Railway budget derailed: Five facts you probably didn’t know (indianexpress.com)
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Rail Budget

News Entry# 280788   Blog Entry# 1998002     
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This is a new feature showing past edits to this News Post.

Posted by: SRG*^~  742 news posts
Railway budget derailed: Five facts you probably didn’t know
A 92-year-old tradition of the railway budget has been broken.
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Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on Wednesday addressed the media and informed that the general budget and railway budget will be merged and presented as a single budget from 2017. However, the functional autonomy of the railway budget will be
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maintained, Jaitley confirmed. The budget’s date has not been announced for 2017 as it depends on the Assembly session.
Jaitley, while briefing the media, said that the practice was adopted because railway budget used to be higher that general budget but things have changed with time. “Now there are several departments whose budget is higher than that of railway budget, namely defence,” Jaitley said.
The practice of presenting the railway budget separately is more than seven decades old and this decision by the BJP government will now put an end to it. The rail budget used to be presented every year by railway minister few days prior to the presentation of the general budget.
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FACTS:
When was the first railway budget presented?
After the recommendations of 10 member-Acworth Committee in 1920-21, the railway budget was separated from general budget in 1924. Since then the budget was presented independently.
When was the first live telecast of the railway budget?
It took 70 years for the first live telecast of the railway budget to take place on March 24, 1994.
Who was the first railway minister in independent India?
After India attained Independence on August 15, 1947, John Mathai became the first railway minister.
Who was the first woman railway minister?
Mamata Banerjee, current chief minister of West Bengal and chief of the Trinamool Congress, became the first woman railway minister in 2000.
Which minister presented the railway budget most times?
Jagjivan Ram, father of former Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar, presented the railway budget seven times.

  
Sep 21 2016 (15:17)
erpankajkashyap   110 blog posts
Re# 1998002-1            Tags   Past Edits
Too bad
  
Sep 21 2016 (15:07)  Railway budget scrapped, merged with general budget (timesofindia.indiatimes.com)
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Rail Budget

News Entry# 280787   Blog Entry# 1997998     
   Tags   Past Edits
This is a new feature showing past edits to this News Post.

Posted by: SRG*^~  742 news posts
Railway budget scrapped, merged with general budget
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HIGHLIGHTS
There will be no rail budget from the next year.
The Union Cabinet gave its nod to merge rail budget with general budget.
The
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practice of rail budget was started in 1924.
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NEW DELHI: There will be no separate railway budget+ from the next financial year. The Union Cabinet on Wednesday gave its nod to merge the railway budget with the general budget from next year, putting an end to a practice that started in 1924.
"Rail budget and general budget will be amalgamated from now, there will only be one budget," finance minister Arun Jaitley said after the Cabinet meeting.
"However, the functional autonomy of railways will be maintained," Jaitley said.
The decision to merge the railway budget with the general budget is significant as in recent years, particularly since coalition governments post-1996, political heavyweights have used the railway budget to hand out goodies and for their own image building. With the railway portfolio often held by regional biggies, the budget reflected political priorities of the incumbent. The railway bureaucracy has also dug in its heels in the past.
Railway minister Suresh Prabhu's readiness to give up the limelight is a break from the past as BJP seems in a position to dump the railway budget as its solid majority in Lok Sabha enabled it to retain the portfolio rather than handing it to an ally.
The move to discard the British-era practice of a separate rail budget by the Modi government comes after a two-member committee comprising Niti Aayog member Bibek Debroy and Kishore Desai recommended the exercise be scrapped.
With a view to get all the legislative approvals for the annual spending and tax proposals before the beginning of the new financial year on April 1, the Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved advancing date for presentation of the general budget by a month instead of present practice of unveiling it at the end of February.
To facilitate this, the budget session of Parliament will be called sometime before January 25, a month ahead of the current practice.
Accordingly, the beginning of budget preparation will be advanced to early October and GDP estimates made available on January 7 instead of February 7 now.
Till now budget was presented on the last day of February and it is not until mid-May that the Parliament approves it in two parts. And with the monsoon arriving in June, most of the schemes and spendings by states do not take off until October, leaving just half a year for their implementation.
Early presentation of budget would mean that the entire exercise is over by March 31, and expenditure as well as tax proposals come into effect right from the beginning of new fiscal, thereby ensuring better implementation.

  
1548 views
Sep 21 2016 (15:08)
SRG*^~   34951 blog posts   151474 correct pred (75% accurate)
Re# 1997998-1            Tags   Past Edits
End of the road err rail for Rail budget...It has hit a buffer come to dead end.

  
Sep 21 2016 (15:22)
Rail Fanning~   2523 blog posts
Re# 1997998-2            Tags   Past Edits
For obvious reasons, the regional parties are not happy with this decision. It was always seen from previous budgets that these parties used this as a tool for political appeasement by introducing more and more trains in their respective regions.
But good in a way as some of the article mention that Rs 10,000 crore will be saved annually if both budgets are combined

  
1678 views
Sep 21 2016 (15:41)
Hum safar express idea is total flop^~   77411 blog posts   5080 correct pred (77% accurate)
Re# 1997998-3            Tags   Past Edits
best thing in last line
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Early presentation of budget would mean that the entire exercise is over by March 31, and expenditure as well as tax proposals come into effect right from the beginning of new fiscal, thereby ensuring better implementation.

  
1647 views
Sep 21 2016 (15:47)
SRG*^~   34951 blog posts   151474 correct pred (75% accurate)
Re# 1997998-4            Tags   Past Edits
Yes price hike ka jatka pehlehi maalum padega..

  
1309 views
Sep 21 2016 (17:53)
For Better Managed Indian Railways~   1859 blog posts
Re# 1997998-5            Tags   Past Edits
Rly budget merger is done with an intention that it will be an important step to depoliticize IR, but the way new trains are being introduced since last few months, casts doubt whether the depoliticization will really happen? If it happens then well and good. But if it does not happen, then it will results will be more disastrous
(1) It will result in even more lopsided resource allocation and development of railways in our country. At present due to debate and passage of Rly budget in parliament, RM is forced to give at-least something to all the states including his non-preferred ones.
(2) The
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data released/ discussed during budget sessions may not be released before the public. IR shall lose whatever transparency it have now.
(3) Rail budget Parliamentary discussion puts pressure on IR to perform & fulfil developmental aspirations of different regions. After budget merger, If the RM is not dynamic, vigilant and task oriented, there will not be enough pressure on IR to perform and IRlys may die its natural death (gradually loose almost all of its traffic to competitors) much like the inland Water ways prevalent decades ago in major rivers like Ganga had. In that case the efficiently managed Roadways, airline operators shall be the biggest gainers and public/ nation the loser.

  
900 views
Sep 21 2016 (21:34)
srinivasvasanthi   3563 blog posts   13 correct pred (50% accurate)
Re# 1997998-6            Tags   Past Edits
Parrot of IndianRailway wings are shortened and is gaged .So the gaged Parrot have to be ensured with proper feed of funds .IR has been announced new projects /allot to the held up projects for Rs 10000 crores ( Dividend need not paid to FM ) which is saved after merging
  
Sep 21 2016 (14:50)  Single budget will save Railways Rs. 10,000 crore (googleweblight.com)
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Rail Budget

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Sep 21 2016 (3:26PM)
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Sep 21 2016 (2:57PM)
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Sep 21 2016 (2:54PM)
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Posted by: Mahaparinirwan Express DSJ Gaya Monthly~  82 news posts
The cash-strapped Railways will save about Rs 10,000 crore annually as it will no longer have to pay dividend if the separate Rail Budget is scrapped, which is likely to happen from next fiscal.
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A joint committee set up to finalise the modalities for the merger of Rail Budget with the General Budget has submitted its report to the Finance Ministry recommending various changes including waiving off of payment of dividend by railways though the practice of getting gross budgetary support (GBS) from the exchequer will continue.
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Railways pays about Rs 10,000 crore as dividend a year after getting about Rs 40,000 crore.The General Budget to be presented by the Finance Minister will also have a separate annexure with details of plan and non-plan expenditures to be incurred by the national transporter, according to the recommendations of the joint committee comprising senior officials from the Railways and Finance ministries.
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The recommendations will be placed before the Cabinet for a final decision, the sources said.
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The report on the merger of the Rail Budget and General Budget, was to be submitted by August 31 but was delayed and finally submitted on September 8, official sources in the Railways said.
  
Sep 21 2016 (13:05)  Cabinet approves proposal to merge Railway and General Budget (m.businesstoday.in)
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Rail Budget

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Posted by: Pratap 😀😀 KJM WDP4D 40387 😀😀 प्रताप~  366 news posts
The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the merger of the Railway Budget with the General Budget. This puts an end to the separate Railways Budget that gets present in the parliament.
The Finance Ministry had made the proposal to merge the two budgets apart from advancing the date of Budget presentation.
Once the rail and general Budgets are merged and the date of presentation is advanced, there will be no requirement of separate Appropriation Bills as well as Vote on Account, as is the current practice.
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after the separate railway budget is scrapped and its proposals clubbed in the general Budget, the Railways would continue to maintain its distinct entity status as a departmentally-run commercial undertaking as at present.
Also, the Railways would be allowed to retain its functional autonomy with delegation of financial power rules to continue as is the case now, sources said.
After the merger, the Railways would not have to pay dividend to the central government and its capital at charge would stand to be wiped off.
Like for other departments, the ministry of finance will provide gross budgetary support to the Railways for incurring its capital expenditure.
According to the proposal, to ensure better targeting of benefits, all concessional railway passes provided to various categories of concessionaires will be linked to Aadhar number.
Also, the Railway Convention Committee, which reviews the rate of dividend payable by the railways to the government, will be disbanded. Currently, the panel also suggests the level of appropriation to various funds of the railways such as depreciation reserve funds, development fund and pension fund.
After the merger of railway budget with the general budget, one single Appropriation Bill will be presented to Parliament for consideration and voting on or before March 24, 2017.
  
Sep 21 2016 (06:47)  Cabinet to decide on rail, general budgets merger (www.thehindu.com)
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Rail Budget

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Posted by: rdb*^  124865 news posts
The Union Cabinet will take a call on advancing the Union Budget date in its meeting on Wednesday and consider the merger of the general and the rail budgets.
The tentative new date for the presentation of the Budget will also be discussed, although the final decision on it will be taken by the Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs. Advancing the Budget presentation date will in turn require the Budget Session to be called a few weeks earlier for which Parliament is generally convened around the third week of February.The Union Budget is presented each year on the last working day of February by the Finance Minister to Parliament.
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proposal was moved by the Finance Ministry after it received from several States and some ministries demands that the annual budget exercise be completed before the new fiscal year begins on April 1 for streamlined allocation of funds. The Budget is presented in two parts i.e. the Railway Budget pertaining to Railway Finance and General Budget which gives an overall picture of the financial position of the Centre.
Railway Ministry officials said that even after the merger, Indian Railways may continue to pay dividends to the Ministry of Finance and also bear the social obligation cost it now incurs. It may also continue paying pension to retired employees.Social service obligation costs in 2015-16 added up to Rs.34,030 crore from its coach services, including passenger traffic, luggage and parcel services, while pension outgo for 2016-17 is budgeted at Rs.45,500 crore.
  
Sep 19 2016 (20:11)  अर्थात्: बजट बंद होने से दौड़ेगी रेल? (aajtak.intoday.in)
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Rail Budget

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Posted by:   1 news posts
Hindi News इंडिया टुडे अर्थात
अर्थात्: बजट बंद होने...
अअअ अर्थात्: बजट बंद होने से दौड़ेगी रेल? अंशुमान तिवारी नई दिल्ली, 19 सितम्बर 2016 | अपडेटेड: 12:11 IST twittermore
रेल बजट के आम बजट में विलय से क्या रेलवे को फायदा होगा?
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दिल्ली में रेल भवन के गलियारे रहस्यमय हो चले हैं. असमंजस तो रेल भवन से महज आधा किलोमीटर दूर रायसीना हिल्स की उत्तरी इमारत में भी कम नहीं है जो वित्त मंत्रालय के नाम से जानी जाती है. अगर सरकार की बतकही पर भरोसा किया जाए तो 93 साल पुराना रेल बजट, 2017 से वित्त मंत्री अरुण जेटली का सिरदर्द हो जाएगा. रेल मंत्री सुरेश प्रभु बेचैन हैं, वे रेल बजट के आम बजट में विलय के सवालों पर खीझ उठते हैं. अलबत्ता उनके स्टाफ से लेकर सुदूर इलाकों तक फैले रेल नेटवर्क का हर छोटा-बड़ा कारिंदा दो बजटों के मिलन की हर आहट पर कान लगाए है, क्योंकि रेल बजट का आम बजट में विलय आजादी के बाद रेलवे के सबसे बड़े पुनर्गठन का रास्ता खोल सकता है.
सुरेश प्रभु की बेचैनी लाजिमी है. तमाम कोशिशों के बावजूद वे रेलवे की माली हालत सुधार नहीं पाए हैं. बीते एक माह में उन्होंने रेलवे की दो सबसे फायदेमंद सेवाओं को निचोड़ लिया. पहले कोयले पर माल भाड़ा बढ़ा. रेलवे का लगभग 50 फीसदी ढुलाई राजस्व कोयले से आता है. फिर प्रीमियम ट्रेनों में सर्ज प्राइसिंग यानी मांग के हिसाब से महंगे किराये बढ़ाने की नीति लागू हो गई. गहरे वित्तीय संकट में फंसी रेलवे अपनी प्रतिस्पर्धात्मकता खत्म करने पर मजबूर है. रेलवे अपना माल और यात्री कारोबार अन्य क्षेत्रों को सौंपना चाहती है ताकि घाटा कम किया जा सके. रेल मंत्री ने भाड़ा और किराये बढ़ाकर, वित्त मंत्री की तकलीफें कम करने की कोशिश की है, जो रेलवे का बोझ अपनी पीठ पर उठाएंगे.
रेलवे और वित्त मंत्रालय के रिश्ते पेचीदा हैं. रेलवे कोई कंपनी नहीं है, फिर भी सरकार को लाभांश देती है. रेलवे घाटे में है, इसलिए यह लाभांश नहीं बल्कि बजट से मिलने वाले कर्ज पर ब्याज है. एक हाथ से रेलवे सरकार को ''लाभांश" देती है तो दूसरे हाथ से आम बजट से मदद लेती है. यह मदद रेलवे नेटवर्क के विस्तार और आधुनिकीकरण के लिए है, क्योंकि दैनिक खर्चों, वेतन, पेंशन और ब्याज चुकाने के बाद रेलवे के पास नेटवर्क विस्तार के लिए संसाधन नहीं बचते. रेलवे के तहत कई कंपनियां हैं, जिन्हें अलग से केंद्रीय खजाने से वित्तीय मदद मिलती है.
बजट से मदद के अलावा रेलवे को भारी कर्ज लेना पड़ता है, जिसके लिए इंडियन रेलवे फाइनेंस कॉर्पोरेशन है. भारत में रेलवे अकेला सरकारी विभाग है जिसके पास कर्ज उगाहने वाली कंपनी है, जो रेलवे को वैगन-डिब्बा आदि के लिए कर्ज संसाधन देती है. प्रभु के नेतृत्व में रेलवे ने जीवन बीमा निगम से भी कर्ज लिया है, जो खासा महंगा है.
रेलवे सिर्फ परियोजनाओं के लिए ही आम बजट की मोहताज नहीं है, बल्कि उसके मौजूदा संचालन भी भारी घाटे वाले हैं. यह घाटा सस्ते यात्री किराये (34,000 करोड़ रु.) और उन परियोजनाओं का नतीजा है जो रणनीतिक या सामाजिक जरूरतों से जुड़ी हैं. इसके अलावा रेलवे को लंबित परियोजनाओं के लिए 4.83 लाख करोड़ रु. और वेतन आयोग के लिए 30,000 करोड़ रु. चाहिए.
रेल बजट के आम बजट में विलय के साथ यह सारा घाटा, देनदारी, कर्ज आदि आदर्श तौर पर अरुण जेटली की जिम्मेदारी बन जाएगा. रेल मंत्री रेलवे के राजनैतिक दबावों से मुक्त हो जाएंगे और रेल मंत्रालय दरअसल डाक विभाग जैसा हो जाएगा, जिसका घाटा और खर्चे केंद्रीय बजट का हिस्सा हैं. अलबत्ता रेलवे डाक विभाग नहीं है. भारत के सबसे बड़े ट्रांसपोर्टर की जिम्मेदारियां, देनदारियां और वित्तीय मुसीबतें भीमकाय हैं. उसका घाटा, देनदारियां, पेंशन, वेतन खर्चे अपनाने के बाद बजट का कचूमर निकल जाएगा, राजकोषीय घाटे को पंख लग जाएंगे. सो बजटों के विलय के बाद रेलवे का पुनर्गठन अपरिहार्य है. यह बात अलग है कि सरकार इस अनिवार्यता को स्वीकारने से डर रही है.
बजट-विलय के बाद रेलवे के पुनर्गठन के चार आयाम होने चाहिएः
पहलाः अकाउंटिंग सुधारों के जरिए रेलवे की सामाजिक जिम्मेदारियों और वाणिज्यिक कारोबार को अलग-अलग करना होगा और चुनिंदा सामाजिक सेवाओं और प्रोजेक्ट के लिए बजट से सब्सिडी निर्धारित करनी होगी. शेष रेलवे को माल भाड़ा और किराया बढ़ाकर वाणिज्यिक तौर पर मुनाफे में लाना होगा. किराये तय करने के लिए स्वतंत्र नियामक का गठन इस सुधार का हिस्सा होगा.
दूसराः रेलवे के अस्पताल और स्कूल जैसे कामों को बंद किया जाए या बेच दिया जाए ताकि खर्च बच सकें.
तीसराः देबरॉय समिति की सिफारिशों के आधार पर रेलवे के ट्रांसपोर्ट संचालन और बुनियादी ढांचे को अलग कंपनियों में बदला जाए और रेलवे के सार्वजनिक उपक्रमों के लिए एक होल्डिंग कंपनी बनाई जाए.
चौथाः रेलवे की नई कंपनियों में निजी निवेश आमंत्रित किया जाए या उन्हें विनिवेश के जरिए शेयर बाजार में सूचीबद्ध कराया जाए जैसा कि दूरसंचार सेवा विभाग को बीएसएनएल में बदल कर किया गया था.
बजटों के विलय के साथ रेलवे अपने सौ साल पुराने इतिहास की तरफ लौटती दिख रही है. 1880 से पहले लगभग आधा दर्जन निजी कंपनियां रेल सेवा चलाती थीं. ब्रिटिश सरकार ने अगले 40 साल तक इनका अधिग्रहण किया और रेलवे को विशाल सरकारी ट्रांसपोर्टर में बदल दिया. इस पुनर्गठन के बाद 1921 में एकवर्थ समिति की सिफारिश के आधार पर स्वतंत्र रेलवे बजट की परंपरा प्रारंभ हुई, जिसमें रेलवे का वाणिज्यिक स्वरूप बनाए रखने के लिए केंद्र सरकार की ओर से ''रेलवे की लाभांश व्यवस्था" तय की गई थी. अब बजट मिलन के बाद रेलवे को समग्र कंपनीकरण की तरफ लौटना होगा ताकि इसे वाणिज्यिक और सामाजिक रूप से लाभप्रद और सक्षम बनाया जा सके. डिब्बा पहिया, इंजन, कैटरिंग, रिजर्वेशन के लिए अलग-अलग कंपनियां पहले से हैं, सबसे बड़े संचालनों यानी परिवहन और बुनियादी ढांचे के लिए कंपनियों का गठन अगला कदम होना चाहिए.
पर अंदेशा है कि राजनैतिक चुनौतियों के डर से सरकार रेल बजट की परंपरा बंद करने तक सीमित न रह जाए. रेल बजट का आम बजट में विलय भारतीय रेल को बदलने का आखिरी मौका है. अब सियासी नेतृत्व को रेलवे के पुनर्गठन की कड़वी गोली चबानी ही पड़ेगी वरना रेलवे का बोझ जेटली की वित्तीय सफलताओं को ध्वस्त कर देगा.
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