Finmin Begins Studying Rail, General Budget Merger
The government has started the process of examining proposal from the railway ministry to merge the Rail Budget with the General Budget.
"We will look at his (railway minister Suresh Prabhu's) proposal and examine it. It will have to be done in consultation with the railway ministry . That process has started," finance secretary Ashok Lavasa was quoted as saying bynews agency IANS.
Rail Budget has been separated from Union Budget since 1924 when the British decided it for a better focus on India's most important infrastructure network. That time, Railways accounted for 70 percent of the total budget. The Rail Budget is now only about 15 percentof the country's budget.
Asked when a decision on the anticipated merger of the General Budget and Rail Budget was likely, finance secretary Ashok Lavasa said, "We can reach a conclusion only after we have considered the pros and cons of his (Suresh Prabhu's) proposal."
"This (merger) is something that has been suggested even in the past. So, one will have to consider what was the view taken in the past and why that view was taken," he said.