Union Budget 2017-18: Autonomy of Indian Railways’ to be maintained: Finance Minister Mr.Arun Jaitley

NEW DELHI: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday said Indian Railways` autonomy would be maintained even after its budget was merged with the Union Budget 2017-18.

Jaitley`s reassurance came as he presented the Budget in the Lok Sabha.

He said that provision for railways would not be tampered with in any ways.

Just ahead of the presentation, a meeting of the Cabinet presided over by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, gave its consent to the proposals. Prior to that, the top brass of the Finance Ministry, led by Jaitley met with President Pranab Mukherjee for his approval.

This is the first time the date of presentation has been advanced by nearly a month, even as it co-opts the Railway Budget into it, abandoning the practice that was started in 1924.

Individual tax payers are hoping for both a hike in the exemption limit and deductions under Section 80CC of the Income Tax Act, while the industry has sought a further rationalisation of corporate tax, excise and customs duty.