Opinion Builder, 25 February 2016 1

What do you think? Is it right time to merge Railway budget with General Budget ?

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  • Yash Kumar Mehrotra

    Ending 92 years old tradition. Niti Ayog committee headed by Bibek Debroy made revelations about the railway facing huge revenue deficit and dividend paid annually to Indian govt approx Rs10,000 crores. Also there is a cost overruns of Rs 1.07 lakh crores for delayed projects and Rs. 1.86 lakh crores needed for on going 422 projects .This merger will relieve railways from this burden .
    There is a decreasing trend in fund allocation of the total budget which is only 15% . This will allow railways to expand its on going process of expanding infrastructure.
    It will simplify relationship between Finance Ministry and Railways and also will save resources that go in preparing a separate budget for both general and railways.
    However , certain aspects if taken care of will make it turn into a successful decision , which are following :-
    1. Overall decrease in revenue may also lead to cutting of allocating budget to railways . This can be taken care of by ensuring that infrastructure development should not be kept on stake .
    2. Since hike in fares can turn to be raise its impact on salaries , fuel , equipment cost to be checked .
    3. Making Pensions a liability of railways will also make a burden as Rs 75000 crores to be paid as Pensions .

    Since government ongoing modernization like high speed trains and bullet trains will definitely gain as more fund can be allotted and also our public sector incurred an additional burden of Rs. 40000 crorescrores due to 7th pay commission and Rs 32000 crores due to subsidies granted hence railways can be developed for seeking more revenues by giving better services to people and modernising on account of a hike in wages will be accepted. Hence since India needs to develop its economy and railways are considered as lifelines of economy this move will help our government to achieve a boost by making the travel cheap in the longer run.