According to reports, Centre on September 21 officially ended India’s 92-year-old tradition of presenting Rail Budget every year.
Clearing Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu’s request, the Union Cabinet has now cleared the merger the Railway and Union Budget and the process would be implemented from next 2017-18 session.
The Railways is India’s largest employer and according to Rail Minister Suresh Prabhu, has been bearing an additional burden of Rs. 40,000 crore on account of implementation of the 7th Pay Commission.
Further, the Railway’s bears an annual outgo of Rs. 33,000 crore on subsidies for passenger service and with this merger they hope to cut down on those costs.
The Indian Railways is currently facing an accumulated burden of Rs. 4.83 lakh crore which they need towards the execution of 458 unfinished and ongoing projects.
With the Railways now being transferred to the Finance ministry, the revenue deficit and capital expenditure of the Railways will also get transferred.
According to NDTV, the Finance Ministry will merge the railway and union budgets before January 25, 2017.
Further, the budget process will start three weeks early and in the first week of October itself. The finance ministry also aims to complete it by November 15, 2016.