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Professional Events

RARE COMPENDIUM OF RAILWAY BUDGET SPEECHES

Publication released by Budget Directorate
The Budget Directorate of the Railway Board has compiled a book containing the Railway Budget Speeches from 1924-25 to 1946-47. The material for this has been compiled from various sources including the National Archives, the Teen Murti library, the Parliament House library etc. The publication will shortly be circulated to all the zonal units and will also be available for sale.
The foreword of the Financial Commissioner in the book is as under:
FOREWORD
Railway finances were separated from the General Revenues in 1924 primarily to secure stability for civil estimates by providing for an assured contribution from Railway revenues and also to introduce flexibility in the administration of Railway finances. Under article 112 of the Constitution of India, a statement of estimated receipts and expenditure of the Government has to be laid before the Parliament in respect of every financial year which runs from 1st April to 31st March. This statement is popularly known as Budget. As Railway finances have been separated from the general finances, a separate budget is presented by IR while, financial arrangements between Railways and General Revenues are reviewed by successive Railway Convention Committees of the Parliament.

The recommendation of the Acworth Committee (1920-21) which were a precursor to this separation symbolized a tectonic shift in the history of Indian Railways. Simultaneously, while engineering a separation of Indian Railways from the general finances, it brought about a change in the organizational structure and the dawn of a relationship between the General Exchequer and the Indian Railways which continues till today.

To understand the growth of Indian Railways and its finances, the speeches of the successive Railway Members of the Viceroy’s Council and Railway Ministers of the Indian Union during presentation Railway Budget in Parliament occupy prime place, being a significant policy document. This compendium has brought together these speeches in their true perspective. The compilation also includes speeches & notifications of the Legislative Assembly of 1924, regarding “Separation of Railway Finances from General Budget” which will be of immense interest and use to railway administrators, enthusiasts, historians, economists, scholars and Institutions having interest in the subject.

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Shri B N Mohapatra
Financial Commissioner(Railways)