Finance Ministry officials will brief a Parliamentary panel Thursday on the merger of Railway Budget with General Budget and advancing the date of budget presentation. The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance headed by by former Union Minister and senior Congress leader M Veerappa Moily will deliberate on the budget reforms.
As per the schedule, representatives of Ministry of Finance will brief the 31-member panel on ‘Budgetary Reforms including Merger of Railway Budget with General Budget -Ramifications thereof’.
The Cabinet last month approved Finance Ministry’s proposal on landmark budgetary reforms relating to merger of Railway budget with the General budget and the advancement of the date of Budget presentation from the last day of February.
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The Cabinet has also given its permission to the merger of the Plan and the Non-Plan classification in the Budget and Accounts.
Briefing reporters after the Cabinet meeting, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had said the Cabinet has in-principle decided to end the colonial-era tradition of presenting Budget on last day of February and advance it to help complete the legislative approvals for the annual spending plans and tax proposals before the beginning of the new financial year on April 1.
But the actual date of presentation of the Budget for 2017-18 will be decided later keeping in mind the schedule for assembly elections in crucial states like Uttar Pradesh.
The Finance Ministry had proposed to the Cabinet that the annual Budget presentation be fixed for February 1 and complete the budget exercise by March 24. The presentation of separate Railway budget started in the year 1924, and has continued after independence as a convention rather than under Constitutional provisions.