Rail Budget & General Budget Merger- Facts and Features
“The price of doing the same old thing is far higher than the price of change” this quote I feel fairly justifies the new amendment in Indian budget system. As we know that on Wednesday, 21st Sep. 2016 the Union Cabinet granted the merger of rail budget with the general budget, putting an end to the 92-year-old practice started back in 1924. Indian Finance minister Mr. Arun Jaitley announced in the cabinet meeting that from next financial year there will be no separate Railway Budget. Though change is difficult, yet it is the only thing that has brought progress. The first step toward change is awareness and the second step is acceptance. Also, you can Check PNR Status online.
Railway Budget of India also known as Rail Budget is the Annual Fiscal Statement of the state-owned Indian Railways, which handles rail transport in India. It is presented every year by the Ministry of Railways, in the parliament. Following the proposal of Acworth committee, led by British railway politician William Acworth presented “Acworth Report” according to which the railway finances of India were separated from the general budget in 1924. This practice was continued in independent India till 2016.
Rail Budget-Union Budget merger
The end of a separate Rail Budget will be a relief for the Railways since it is facing an accumulated burden of a Rs. 4.83 lakh crore towards the execution of 458 unfinished and ongoing projects. With the scrapping of the rail budget, the Railways will also not have to pay a special dividend of about Rs. 10,000 crore to the government for getting gross budgetary support.
The rail budget was introduced because the British government had to spend a lot of amounts while building railways in India but now the railway budget size is noticeably small at Rs.1.21 trillion compared to India’s overall budget of Rs.19.8 trillion. And also a lot of resources were wasted in the preparation of rail budget each year. So the merger of rail and union budget is definitely is the biggest reform in the sector. It will retain the Indian railway’s financial autonomy and the development will be more focused as the procedural formalities will reduce.
As the parliament has decided that in next fiscal year the budget proposal will be one month advanced so that the implementation of the budget will be started from 1st April that means from the very beginning of the financial year.
Good begun is half done, so let’s see how this new amendment into the Indian budget system works well and brings more financial stability in India.
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