New Delhi: The cabinet on Wednesday approved the merger of the railway budget with the annual budget, a government source said, ending a 92-year-long practice.
The government's use of a railway budget separate from the national one is a relic of its colonial past, when the network was the country's major industrial asset and a major revenue earner.
Separately, the cabinet has given its approval to merge the plan and non-plan expenditure distinctions in the annual budget, Steel Minister Birender Singh told reporters.
"We welcome the move to merge both the budgets. The government had taken us into confidence before this. This will help railways, if finance ministry also takes up its subsidy burden, pension liabilities and if there is a waiver on dividend front. Moreover, the time of Parliament will also be saved," said Shiva Gopal Mishra, general secretary of All India Railwaymen's Federation, told Business Standard.