New Delhi, Sep 21 : Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on Wednesday said that the government will ensure functional autonomy of the Railways and its distinct identity even after the merger of railway and general budgets.
“These decisions (railway and freight fares etc) will continue to be taken by the Railways. But the accounts of Railways will be presented to parliament by the Finance Minister,” Jaitley told reporters here.
Asserting that the functional autonomy of Railways will be maintained, Jaitley said: “The government will also ensure a separate discussion on Railways (expenditure) during the budget session every year.”
It will ensure “detailed parliamentary scrutiny and accountability” vis-a-vis the expenses made under Railways is continued.
He said the presentation of statement of accounts will be consolidated and efforts will be made to ensure that there is horizontal merger of the two accounts.
Describing the merger move as “historic” and one “matching global benchmark”, Prabhu also asserted that his ministry will maintain its distinct entity as a “commercial enterprise” even after the merger of budgets.
“It will help raise capital expenditure in the Railways, which will enhance the rail connectivity in the country. The distinct identity of the Railways will be maintained. Our effort to leverage extra budgetary resources will also continue,” Prabhu said.
The financial powers of Divisional Railway Managers will continue, he said, adding in addition the Railways will also not pay dividends to the central exchequer.
Till now, the Railways has been paying about Rs 10,000 crore as dividend annually.
The first Report of the Railway Convention Committee (2014), appointed to review the rate of dividend payable by the Railway Undertaking to the general revenue, had also favoured against payment of dividend, officials said.
Delhi records season’s worst air day, AQI mounts to 304
New Delhi, 13 Oct : The air quality index of the national capital turned foul and mounted to ‘very poor’ category at 304 on Tuesday morning, with northwest district recording the most polluted air, according to the Central pollution Board’s data.
Tuesday was the season’s worst air day so far.
The air pollution reaches a crescendo in Delhi-NCR every winter, when pollution from stubble burning combines with the suspended water droplets in the lower atmosphere to form a thick blanket of noxious smog, thus creating health hazards for the residents.
Situation in Delhi under control after COVID-19 lockdown 4 : Arvind Kejriwal
New Delhi, 25 May : Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday (May 25, 2020) said that the situation in the national capital is under control and his government is ready to deal with any kind of situation that comes in front of them.
Kejriwal, also stressed that even after several relaxations given in the fourth phase of COVID-19-induced lockdown the number of cases didn’t see any unusual rise.
Addressing an online media briefing, Kejriwal informed that around 3,500 COVID-19 cases were reported since the fourth-phase of the lockdown began.
Cleared Shaheen Bagh, booked violators: Delhi Police
New Delhi, 24 March : In view of the complete lockdown in the national capital to thwart the COVID-19 spread, Delhi Police cleared the protest site in Shaheen Bagh on Tuesday and detained some protesters.
Deputy Commissioner of Police R. P. Meena said, “Police requested them to vacate the place but they refused. So, police cleared the area and detained a few protesters.”
The Delhi Police also said, “All protest sites have been cleared — Jaffrabad, Jamia and Turkman Gate. Some persons detained in all these places as well.”
Sources in Delhi Police said, “A team of senior police officers reached the site at 6.45 a.m. First, they tried to pacify the protesters. At that time around a dozen persons were present. Usually, very few women protesters remain there during the mornings. And because of the lockdown, their number already was very less.”
The police arrived with trucks and JCB machines and dismantled all the structures and seized the tents.
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