The Union Cabinet has approved the merging of rail budget with the Union Budget, scrapping decades-old tradition.
With this historic decision, both the budgets will be presented together starting from the next financial year.
Talking to media after the Cabinet meeting, Finance minister Arun Jaitley said, “Rail budget and general budget will be amalgamated from now, there will only be one budget.”
Jaitley also added that the functional autonomy of railways will be maintained and there will be a separate discussion on railway expenditure.
The proposal to merge both the budgets was recommended by a committee led by Bibek Debroy.
In addition, the government is also planning to advance the Budget process. The Finance Ministry’s proposal suggests February 1 as the date of budget presentation, leaving the current practice of presenting it on last working day of February.
In the wake of this new development, the budget session of Parliament is expected to be called in last weeks of January to facilitate the new practice.