Merger of rail budget with union budget approved
September 21 2016 at 17:39
The 92-year-old practice of presenting a separate Railway Budget has finally come to an end. The Union Cabinet on Wednesday has approved scrapping of separate Railway Budget and merging it with the General Budget. The unanimous decision – to scrap over nine-decade old tradition of separate Railway Budget - was taken after Finance Ministry had proposed to restructure the entire budgetary system. This is the second major shift in the schedule of the budget by a National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government. The previous NDA government, under prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in 2001, changed the time of presenting the budget to 11am, from the British era practice of presenting it at 5pm. "We are merging the union budget with the Railway budget. There will be only one budget.
The functional autonomy of the Railway to be maintained," Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said. He said, "Debroy panel had recommended merger of Rail with general budget." Jaitley said the Cabinet has also in principle agreed to advance the date of presentation of the general budget to make sure the budget is passed by Parliament by 31 March, before the new financial year begins on 1 April. He added that the Cabinet has deferred a final decision on the date of presentation to a later day. “A final call on the actual date of the budget presentation will be taken after consultations depending on the calendar of state assembly elections next year.”