Saturday, 27 February 2016 04:41



27 -FEBRUARY - 2016




Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu presented the Railway Budget 2016-17 in the Lok Sabha. In his second Rail Budget, Prabhu outlined a capital plan of 121000 crore rupees in 2016-17.

A saving of 8720 crore rupees for Budget estimates of 2015-16 will be effected in 2016.

Theme of the Budget is Overcoming challenges – Reorganize, Restructure Rejuvenate Indian Railways: ‘Chalo, Milkar Kuch Naya Karen’.

Railway Budget of 2016-17 is based on three pillars and they are Nav Arjan (New Revenues), Nav Manak (New Norms) and New Sanrachna (New Structures).

Nav Arjan (New Revenues)

It exploits new sources of revenue so that every asset, tangible or non-tangible gets optimally monetized.

New Manak (New Norms)

A Zero Budgeting approach to the financials of the ensuring year, improvement in efficiency yardsticks and procurement practices to bring them in line with international best practices

Nav Sanrachna (New Structures)

Need to re-imagine the conventional ways of solving issues like co-operation, collaboration and communication, creativity and communication to the hallmark of decision-making and actions.

Major Highlights

• Wants to double investment in Railways

• Delay in running of 95% trains will be ended by 2020

• Rail tickets will be available at all places by 2020

• Aimed at increasing speed of passenger train by 80km/hr

• LIC has agreed to invest 1.5 lakh crore rupees over 5 years on extremely favourable terms

• Dedicated freight corridor project gaining momentum. New freight corridors announced: Delhi-Chennai, Kharagpur-Mumbai, Kharagpur-Vijayawada.

• Poised to commission broad gauge lines at the rate of 7 km per day against 4.5 km over last five years

• Plan to generate 9 crore man-days employment by 2017-18 and 14 crore man-days by 2018-19

• Institutional financing will be introduced for funding projects

• Action of 139 Budget announcements on 2015-16 has been initiated

• Aimed at eliminating unmanned level crossings by 2020

• Aimed at generating revenues of order of 184820 crore rupees in 2016, which is 10.1 percent higher than revised target of 2015

• North-East India, especially Mizoram and Manipur, to be connected through broad gauge soon

• To commission 2800 km of new tracks in 2016-17

• Bids for setting up 2 locomotive factories was finalised and the new factories will be set up with an order book of 40000 crore rupees.

Rail Budget History and Important facts

• Indian Railways to surpass ambitious target of commissioning 2500 kms of broad gauge lines, almost 30% higher than last year

• Catering service will be managed by IRCTC in phased manner

• e-ticket facility for foreign debit and credit card holders will be provided

• Cancellation facility through 139 helpline number will be provided

• Journalists to get facility of e-booking of tickets on concessional passes

• Bar-coded tickets will be introduced on pilot basis, this will help to tackle menace of ticketless travel

• Overnight double-decker trains to be introduced on business travel routes

• Long distance superfast train Antyodaya Express for unreserved passengers will be launched

• Fully unreserved superfast trains to be introduced on dense traffic routes

• Deen Dayal coaches for long distance trains for unreserved passengers will be introduced

• Full-fledged Railway University will come-up soon

• Railways to increase the quota of lower berths for women and senior citizens

• Bidding for redevelopment of few large and medium stations will be undertaken

• Enhanced capacity of e-ticketing system from 2000 tickets/min to 7,200/min.

• A framework will be formulated where net saving from electrification will be able to finance capital expenditure.

• Wi-Fi will be provided at 400 railway station in 2016-17, as compared to 100 in 2015-16

• 2000 km of electrification proposed for 2016-17

• Chennai will have India's first rail auto hub

• Railway Ministry will partner with Tamil Nadu Government to develop suburban network in Chennai through innovative financing methods

Bibek Debroy committee on railway restructuring submitted report to Union Ministry of Railways

• For suburban rails, Railway Ministry will work with Karnataka Government

• Ring Railway to be redeveloped in partnership with the Delhi government.

• FM radio stations will be invited to provide train borne entertainment via PA systems

• Rail Bandhu magazine will be published in all regional languages

• GPS-based digital display in coaches for showing upcoming stations will be installed

• Elevated rail corridors from Churchgate to Virar and CST to Panvel are planned

• Coolies have been renamed and will be called 'Sahayaks'

• Children's menu, baby foods, baby boards to be made available for travelling mothers

• IRCTC will make available local cuisine of choice, hygienic food. Local cuisine of choice will be made available to passengers

• All new Railway stations to be built as per Accessible India guidelines

• No hike in railway fares.

• The companies owned by Railways to come under a holding companies

• Two dedicated freight corridors by 2019

• 50 crore rupees kept aside for providing innovation grants to start-ups

• Drones will be used for remote monitoring of ongoing projects

• 33 percent sub-quota for women under all reserved categories

• Advertising revenue to be increased by more than four times in 2016-17


Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu presented his maiden Rail Budget 2015-16 in the Lok Sabha. This was also the second rail budget of the Narendra Modi-led NDA government.

The major statistical highlights of the Budget encompassing Financial Performance 2014-15, Budget Estimates 2015-16 and Plan outlay 2015-16 are given below:

Financial Performance in 2014-15

• In 2014-15, there was a net reduction in Gross Traffic Receipts by 917 crore rupees compared to the Budgeted Estimate (BE) of 160165 crore rupees

• Growth in Ordinary Working Expenses (OWE) scaled down to 11.7 percent. The budgeted OWE of 112649 crore rupees decreased in the Revised Estimate (RE) of 2014-15 to 108970 crore

• Appropriation to the Pension Fund increased to 29540 crore rupees in the RE 2014-15

• Internal resource generation also improved and accordingly the appropriation to Depreciation Reserve Fund (DRF) was scaled up to 7975 crore rupees in RE from the BE 2014-15 provision of 7050 crore rupees

• Excess of receipts over expenditure stood at 7278 crore rupees in RE 2014-15 reflecting better financial management

• Plan size for 2014-15 increased from 65445 crore rupees in the Budgeted Estimates to 65798 crore rupees in the Revised Estimates

Budget Estimates for 2015-16

• Passenger earnings growth pegged at 16.7 percent and target budgeted at 50175 crore rupees

• Freight traffic is pegged at an all time high incremental traffic of 85 million tonnes, anticipating a healthier growth in the core sector of economy

• Goods earnings proposed at 121423 crore rupees which includes rationalisation of rates, commodity classification and distance slabs

• Other coaching and sundries are projected at 4612 crore rupees and 7318 crore rupees respectively

• Gross Traffic Receipts estimated at 183578 crore rupees, a growth of 15.3 percent

• Ordinary Working Expenses proposed to grow at 9.6 percent over RE 2014-15. Traction fuel bill is anticipated to shrink further

• Lease charges, interest component of the current and previous market borrowings are pegged at a growth of 21 percent

• Appropriation to Pension Fund is proposed at 35260 crore rupees and appropriation to DRF at 8100 crore rupees

• Appropriation of 7616 crore rupees is proposed to be made to Capital Fund for payment of principal component of lease charges to IRFC

Plan Outlay 2015-16

• Gross Budgetary Support of 40000 crore rupees for the Railway’s annual Plan

• Total Plan Outlay is 100011 crore rupees, an increase of 52 percent over RE 2014-15

• 1645.60 crore rupees has also been provided as Railway’s share of diesel cess from the Central Road Fund

• Market borrowing under Extra Budgetary Resources (EBR) projected at 17655 crore rupees, an increase of about 46.5 percent

• Balance Plan outlay includes 17793 crore rupees from Internal Resources and 5781 crore rupees from PPP

• A new financing approach to expand EBR has been projected. This EBR, presently named EBR (Institutional Finance) is projected at 17136 crore rupees and is aimed at accelerating completion of capacity augmentation projects.


In technical sense, Railway Budget is an annual financial statement that shows estimated receipts and expenditures related to the Indian Railways in the coming financial year.

However, in the real sense, it is treated as a key policy document that unveils the Government’s initiatives and programmes related to the development of the Indian Railways.

Railway Budget is a unique feature of the Indian Parliamentary system. Probably, India is the only country in the world to have a budget dealing with a specific segment of the transport sector. A separate budget for the Railways also signifies the fact that the central role the Railways play in the economic and social life of the country.

Railway Budget 2016-17: Highlights

Key facts related to Indian Railway Budget

• A separate Railway Budget, which is different from the General Budget, was first introduced in 1924 on the basis of recommendations of the 10-member Acworth Committee.

• The committee, which submitted its report in 1921, was headed by British railway economist William Mitchell Acworth. It was appointed by the British Government to suggest measures for improving financial performance of the Railways.

• It is presented by the Union Railway Minster annually as a money bill in the Lok Sabha. The first ever live telecast of the Railway budget took place on 24 March 1994.

• Though the term Railway Budget is no where mentioned in the Constitution of India, it is introduced and passed in the Lok Sabha under the Articles 112 and 204 of the Constitution that govern the General Budget.

• Usually, the Rail budget is presented annually few days prior to the presentation of the General Budget. It precedes the submission of the Economic Survey of the previous financial year.

• The Indian Railways is one the largest Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) in India. It holds the distinction of providing employment to around 1.36 million.

• The first passenger train under the tag name of Indian Railways ran on 16 April 1853 between Bombay and Thane in present day Maharashtra.

• The Centre for Railway Information Systems (CRIS) located in Chanakyapuri, New Delhi introduced Computer reservation system for the first time in July 1986.

• Lalu Prasad Yadav holds the record of presenting the budget for six years in a row. He was the Union Minister of Railways between 2004 and 2009 under the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government.

• In 2002, Mamata Banerjee became the first women minister to present the budget. She also holds the distinction of presenting the budget under two different governments – National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and the UPA.

• In 2014, Railway Minister D V Sadananda Gowda presented the first railway budget, under the NDA Government headed by Narendra Modi.


Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave its nod for a proposal to establish Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) and Self Employment and Talent Utilisation (SETU) in NITI Aayog with appropriate manpower.

It was observed that AIM is a mission and SETU is an approach to encourage innovation ecosystem and entrepreneurship.

The proposed Mission activities will be implemented in a focused manner with the establishment of AIM and AIM Directorate.

Features of the Mission

• Mission High Level Committee (MHLC) would guide the Mission to take all decisions relating to approval of requisite guidelines which include Grand Challenge areas, prize money and implementation of various elements of AIM and SETU.

• Mission Director and other appropriate manpower will be hired by NITI Aayog.

• They will be established with an initial sum of 500 crore rupees and 1000 crore rupees respectively.

• New Delhi will be headquarters to the Mission.


The AIM and SETU are being initiated as a follow up of Union Budget 2015-16 announcements. Expenditure Finance Committee of NITI Aayog (EFC) considered the proposal on 28 August 2015 and constituted an Expert Committee on Innovation and Entrepreneurship to work out detailed contours of AIM and SETU under the Chairmanship of Prof. Tarun Khanna, Director, South Asia Institute, Harvard University, USA.

The Committee recommended for the short-term where action can be taken relatively quickly to deliver almost immediate payoffs, medium-term that can be addressed within a 5-7 years time frame and long-term, which are likely to have long gestation period, but will lead to a profound transformation in the entrepreneurial fabric of the country.

The Committee also emphasized the need to establish clear systems to monitor implementation, execution, and impact.


Kanavu Variyam, a Tamil movie directed by a Chennai-based techie Arun Chidambaram, was selected for the prestigious Remi Award.

The award will be handed over to Chidambaram during the 49th WorldFest Houston International Film Festival, which will be held from 8 April 8 to 17 April 2016.

The story of Kanavu Variyam revolves around power cuts, which is the most familiar problem faced by people in Tamil Nadu.

The previous recipients of the Remi Award, which is given to independent films and filmmakers, include George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, the Coen Brothers and Ang Lee.

About WorldFest

WorldFest was founded over 50 years ago as Cinema Arts, an International Film Society in August 1961.

It became the third competitive international film festival in North America, following San Francisco and New York.

It is the oldest Independent Film & Video Festival in the World.

It was founded by award-winning producer/director Hunter Todd to present a quality film festival for the Independent filmmakers.


A World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute settlement panel ruled in favour of the United States in its challenge to New Delhi's alleged discrimination against US solar exports.

The panel agreed with the US that India's localisation rules discriminated against imported solar cells and modules under India's National Solar Mission.

The US Trade Representative's office called the ruling a significant victory that will hasten the spread of solar energy across the world and support clean-energy jobs in the United States.

Key highlights of the ruling

The three-member panel, presided by former New Zealand trade envoy David Walker, determined that India's local content requirements are inconsistent with the national treatment obligations in Article 2.1 of the Agreement on Trade-related Investment Measures (TRIMs Agreement) and Article III:4 of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994.

The Domestic Content Requirement (DCR) measures are not justified under the general exceptions in Article XX (j) or Article XX(d) of the GATT 1994.

What was the matter?

In 2013, the US launched a dispute against India at the WTO, complaining that its DCR measures violated core norms of trade-related investment provisions, national treatment provisions for treating imported products on a par with domestically manufactured products, and financial subsidy rules.

The US complaint alleged that the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission subsidies were available only if developers used equipment produced in India, violating a key global trade rule.

The US argued that the rules are a barrier to solar products made in America and elsewhere but also effectively raised the cost of generating solar power in India and were extending the country’s dependence on fossil fuels.

The United States stated that its solar exports to India had fallen by 90 per cent from 2011, when India imposed the rules.


  • Jawaharlal Nehru University students Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya, facing sedition charge, surrendered to the police late night after the Delhi High Court directed them to give themselves in earlier in the day.
  • The students left the campus in a university vehicle escorted by guards around 11-45 p.m. and were taken into custody by a police team waiting outside one of the exit gates of the varsity.
  • They were joined by a large number of students who went right up to the west gate of the university. Four teachers and a lawyer also accompanied the two.
  • Five students -- Ashutosh Kumar, Anant Prakash, Rama Naga, besides Umar and Anirban – are wanted by the police in a sedition case.


  • Anticipating a stormy Budget session of Parliament, President Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday exhorted all MPs to discharge their responsibility in a spirit of cooperation and mutual accommodation.
  • Addressing the joint sitting of both Houses, President Mukherjee said, “Democratic temper calls for debate and discussion, and not disruption or obstruction.”
  • He also said let noble thoughts come from all directions — should be the spirit behind debate in this temple of democracy.
  • Being a member of this great institution bestows great honour as well as important responsibilities.
  • The President also told the MPs that “we owe a great debt to our freedom fighters.It is time to repay that debt, by building the country that they envisioned and fought for.”


  • Criticising the government for using archaic laws to suppress dissent, Amnesty International, in its report for 2015-16, has included India among countries that have failed to match up to the “international standard” of freedom of expression and civil liberties.
  • The report especially noted that over the past year, crackdown on freedom of expression by majoritarian groups linked to the government had intensified.
  • Report said, “Censorship and attacks on freedom of expression by hardline Hindu groups grew. Scores of artists, writers and scientists returned national honours in protest against what they said was a climate of growing intolerance”.
  • It criticised India for a negative gender justice environment, and for violating international legal obligations for the recent modifications in the juvenile justice system which “allows children aged 16 to 18 to be treated as adults in cases of serious crimes”.
  • The report also made a special mention of Tripura, which was the first State to withdraw the Armed Forces Special Powers Act.


  • In his address to the joint sitting of both Houses of Parliament, President Pranab Mukherjee dwelt on the government’s programmes, especially those aimed at financial inclusion and the agricultural sector, including the recently launched Pradhan MantriFasalBeema Yojana.
  • “My government has recently launched the farmer- friendly Pradhan MantriFasalBeema Yojana, with the biggest-ever government’s contribution to crop insurance, and with the lowest- ever premium rates for farmers.”
  • It has many firsts to its credit like national coverage of post-harvest losses due to inundation and unseasonal rains, no capping on subsidyand use of technology for early and accurate settlement of claims.
  • Assistanceto farmers affected by natural calamities has been increased by 50 per cent and eligibility norms have been relaxed.
  • The President said amendments to the Prevention of Corruption Act to make it more stringent were on the anvil.


  • Conducting a comprehensive review of defence procurements cleared in the last two years, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar has directed the armed forces to identify procurement projects of “contemporary relevance” in the next few months.
  • He made these observations while chairing a meeting of the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC).
  • The review comes as the Defence Ministry is in the final stages of formulating the newDefence Procurement Procedure (DPP) expected to be released in the next couple of months.
  • A contemporary review is particularly relevant as a large number of defence proposals in the pipeline have been pending for several years and even over a decade in many cases and are now irrelevant due to change in requirements of the forces and advancement in technology.
  • Observing that despite concerted eforts to expedite procurements, Mr. Parrikar noted that there still remain 314 cases which have not yet fructified.
  • Out of these 86 schemes worth approximately Rs. 1.5 lakh crore are close to final stage of approval.


  • The campaign on Brexit has begun in the U.K., with Prime Minister David Cameron receiving early backing for his call for the country to remain in the European Union from opposite ends of British society.
  • Even as the pound, which had taken a plunge in response to the Brexit uncertainty, slowly recovered ground, nearly 200 business leaders employing over 1.2 million people, and U.K.’s Trade Union Congress representing six million workers came out in support of the ‘Stay’ campaign.
  • Leave campaigners allege that the business bosses – some of them Conservative Party funders – who have signed up to the letter com- prise just a third of the FTSE 100 companies.
  • Initiated by the Britain Stronger in Europecampaign and the Prime Minister’s office, it includes heads of business houses like Marks and Spencer, British Telecom, Vodafone, and ASDA, although equally big businesses have not signed.
  • The political divide over Brexit could not have been more evident in the House of Common’s on Monday, when David Cameron presented hiscase for staying in a “reformed” Europe.
  • It was an un- usual Commons debate not least because the two opposing groups did not face each other as occupants of Treasury and Opposition benches usually do.


  • Syria’s regime agreed to a ceasefire deal announced by the United States and Russia, but there were widespread doubts it could take effect by the weekend as hoped.
  • The agreement, announced, does not apply to jihadists such as the Islamic State group and the alNusra Front, putting up major hurdles to how it can be implemented on Syria’s complex battlefield.
  • The deal calls for a “cessation of hostilities” between forces loyal to PresidentBashar al-Assad and opposition groups that would take effect overnight Friday-Saturday in Damascus.
  • The High Negotiations Committee — the leading Syrian opposition group — gave its conditional acceptance to the deal.
  • But after several previous failed attempts, few had serious expectations for a lasting ceasefire.


  • The government will soon come out with a policy on strategic sale of state-owned companies and the disinvestment will not be confined to loss-making enterprises.
  • Broadly, the strategic sale is that government is selling the equity of the company along with the controlling management.
  • How much stake will be sold, it will vary from place to place and company to company.
  • The previous NDA Government led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee had from 1999 to 2004 privatised about a dozen state- —owned firms and hotels including VideshSanchar Nigam Ltd. (VSNL), Bharat Aluminium Company Ltd. (BALCO), CMC Ltd. and Hindustan Zinc (HZL).
  • But the policy was buried after the UPA came to power and only minority stake sales was pursued since then.


  • The government is likely to announce its Nation- al Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Policy within a fortnight.
  • The policy -- which will be entirely compliant with the World Trade Organisation’s agreement on Trade Related aspects of IPRs (TRIPS) -- will, as per Prime Minister Narendra Modi's suggestion, have a special thrust on awareness generation and effective enforcement of IPRs.
  • However, the policy will not suggest any changes in the existing Indian IPR laws or other related policies on the patent-disabling Compulsory Licencing (CL) and the provision-preventing 'ever-greening' of drug patents (done through minor modifications of an existing drug).
  • The move to retain the provisions on CLs (in the National Manufacturing Policy and Section 84 of India's Patents Act) as well as Section 3(d) of India's Patents Act (preventing ever-greening of drug patents) comes even as the European Union and the US have been pressing India to make changes in this regard to “boost innovation, researchand development (R&D) and foreign investment in India”.
  • According to Section 3(d), besides novelty and inventive step, improvement in therapeutic efficacy is a must for grant of patents when it comes to incremental inventions.
  • The EU and U.S. had objected to India's adoption of CL in industrial sectors (in the National Manufacturing Policy) saying it will discourage investment and innovation.
  • The policy will also suggest incentives such as tax benefits and fee waivers to encourage R&D and IP creation to strengthen the Make In India/Start-up/Digital India initiatives.
  • To protect 'small inventions' developed especially in the informal / unorganised sectors, the policy will pro- mote 'utility patents' (with lower compliance burden and shorter period of protection, when compared to the nor- mal patents) only for mechanical innovations.
  • This 'utility patents' may not be extended to the pharmaceutical sector considering the sensitivities involved in ensuring the efficacy of the drugs.


  • The government is considering a proposal to in- crease the cap on foreign institutional investment in public sector banks to 49 per cent from 20 per cent.
  • The move comes at a time public sector banks need equity capital while their stocks have taken a hammering after reporting huge losses in the third quarter due to a sharp rise in non-performing assets.
  • According to present regulations, a single non-banking institution cannot hold more than 10 per cent in a bank while one bank can hold maximum 5 per cent stake in an- other bank.
  • The public sector banks will need to raise tier-I capital as their capital positions have depleted due to higher provisioning for bad loans.
  • While the government has committed Rs.70,000 crore capital infusion in four years (starting from this financial year) that amount may be inadequate, several rating agencies had pointed out.
  • Earlier, the government had estimated an amount of Rs.2.8 crore as capital infusion for the public sector banks by 2018.
  • Public sector banks are constraint to raise equity capital from the markets as most of them are trading at a significant discount to their book value.
  • Most public sector banksreported weak earnings in Q3 after Reserve Bank of India (RBI), found in its asset quality review (AQR) that certain accounts needs higher provisioning and asked the lenders to classify those accounts as non-performing and gave the lenders two quarters – Q3 & Q4 – to complete the task.
  • Most banks have classified 50 per cent of the RBI identified accounts in Q3 and remaining will be identified in Q4, which will result in further rise in NPAs.
  • The one of the biggest hurdle to increase the foreign shareholding cap in public sector banks was Reserve Bank of India, which was not in favour of higher limit due to concerns over stability.


When you become really close to someone, you can hear their voice in your head when you read their texts. A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval. Live a life true to yourself, rather than the life others expect of you. You are a divine conscious spiritual being having higher dimension of conscious awareness and spiritual awareness in a human existence.

Whenever you get driven by your intuitive self which is guided by your spiritual self then you can create miracles in your every areas of life. The small voice which originates from your soul is spiritually aligned with the divine intelligence and the universe intelligence. You can master over any stormy adversities once you get driven by your intuitive self. So always hear your intuition and get driven by it for manifesting your dream desires into a physical reality.
‪#‎RAY‬ - ‪#‎Empowering‬ ‪#‎Talent‬ ‪#‎Since‬ 1971


Last Updated on Sunday, 28 February 2016 08:00