New Delhi: As the merger of Rail Budget with the General Budget is expected from the next financial year (2017-18), the cash-strapped Indian Railways is expected to save up to Rs 10,000 crore on account of the fact that it will not be required to pay dividend to the government then on.
Recommending that the government should waive off payment of dividend by the Railways, the Joint Committee set up to finalise modalities for the merger of Rail Budget with the General Budget, which submitted its report to the Finance Ministry, however suggested the practice of getting gross budgetary support (GBS) from the exchequer should continue. The Railways pays out Rs 10,000 crore as dividend a year after getting a GBS of about Rs 40,000 crore, which the committee recommended various changes including waiving off of payment of dividend by railways.
The General Budget to be presented by the Finance Minister will also have a separate annexure with details of plan and non-plan expenditures to be incurred by the national transporter, according to the recommendations of the joint panel comprising senior officials from the ministries of railways and finance.
The recommendations will be placed before the Cabinet for a final decision, the sources said. The report on the merger of the Rail Budget and General Budget, was to be submitted by August 31 but was delayed and finally submitted on September 8, official sources in the Railways said.