Prabhu wants to merge Railway Budget with General Budget
The Dollar Business Bureau
Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu wants to merge the Railway Budget with the General Union Budget and said that it is in the long-term benefit of Railways and the nation’s economy.
“As far as Railway Budget is concerned, I have written a letter personally to the Finance Minister saying we are willing for merger (of Railway Budget with the General Budget). In fact, I had suggested even last year. So it’s not that I want to just present a budget. I am looking at a national interest,” he said in Rajya Sabha on Tuesday.
The Minister said that this merger should be done in such a manner that the Indian Railways would become a part of the entire Budget and the issues such as capital expenditure (capex), revenue deficit will be taken care of.
“Therefore, this needs to be happen, keeping in mind the long-term interests of Indian economy as well as Railways,” he added.
On the timeframe for the merger, Prabhu said it has not yet been decided.
He said that Indian Railways has the capability to contribute about 2-2.5 percent of the country’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product) but to achieve that requires investment.
The Railways need a huge investment for surviving as the railway department, being the largest employer, has an enormous burden of about Rs.30,000-Rs.40,000 crore alone for the 7th Pay Commission, along with the burden of subsidy of Rs 34,000 crore, Prabhu said.