Union Budget 2021: Know when and why Railway Budget was merged with Union Budget
New Delhi | Jagran Business Desk: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present the Union Budget on February 1 in the parliament for the upcoming fiscal year 2021-22 with focus on steering the pandemic-battered economic and pushing growth. The Union Budget and Railway Budget was presented separately in India for 92 years, until Prime Minister-Narendra Modi-led central government ended the practice in 2016.
The recommendation for ending the British-era practise of presenting the Railway Budget separately was made by a NITI Aayog committee headed by economist Bibek Debroy. The matter was then discussed in the Rajya Sabha and a committee was constituted for the same.
In 2017, Arun Jaitley became first finance Minister in the history of Independent India to present Union Budget and Railway Budget together. The country's then Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu had said that the move was in the long-term interest of, both, the railways as well as the country's economy. Prabhu was also the last Railway Minister to present an independent Railway Budget in 2016.
The most number of Railway Budgets was presented by Lalu Prasad Yadav, from 2004 to 2009. On the other hand, the most Budgets have been presented by former Finance Minister Morarji Desai. Desai presented the budget a total of 10 times, first between 1959 and 1963, and then again between 1967 and 1969. Notably, Desai, who was born on December 29, presented the budget on his birthday on two occasions, both during the leap years. P Chidambram presented the budget nine times under UPA-1 and UPA-2. He is followed in the list Pranab Mukherjee (eight times), Yashwant Sinha, YB Chawan, and CD Deshmukh (seven times).
Posted By: Lakshay Raja