According to the proposal, to ensure better targeting of According to the proposal, to ensure better targeting ofbenefits, all concessional railway passes provided to variouscategories of concessionaires will be linked to Aadhar number. Also, the Railway Convention Committee, which reviews therate of dividend payable by the railways to the government,will be disbanded. Currently, the panel also suggests thelevel of appropriation to various funds of the railways suchas depreciation reserve funds, development fund and pensionfund. Sources said advancement of presentation of the budget bya month and completion of budget related legislative businessbefore March 31 would pave the way for early completion ofbudget cycle and enable ministries and departments to ensurebetter planning and execution of schemes from the beginning ofthe financial year. Accordingly, the budget calendar would be advanced byabout 3 weeks from the current schedule of it starting fromthe last week of October. Pre-budget consultations with various stakeholders areproposed to be completed by December 25. Ministries anddepartments would be asked to present their detailed Demandfor Grants to Parliament by February 7, 2017. After the merger of railway budget with the generalbudget, one single Appropriation Bill will be presented toParliament for consideration and voting on or before March 24,2017. With the rollout of the goods and services tax (GST), thechanges in excise and service tax, which are normally proposedin the general budget, would shift to the GST Council andhence, there would be less onerous Finance Bill for Parliamentto debate, sources said. PTI LUX DP RR CS ANZARD


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