Parliament met for its fourth sitting of the Session today. The
Railway Budget was presented by the Minister of Railways, Suresh Prabhu
in Lok Sabha.  
In the speech, the ministry identified four
goals: (i) improved customer experience, (ii) safety, (iii) capacity
expansion and modernization, and (iv) financial self sustainability. The
Minister also emphasised on several thrust areas like capacity
augmentation, safety, technology upgradation, station development among
others. 
An analysis of the budget highlights:
Total revenue expected to increase by 15%
Total expenditure projected to increase by 11%
Expected growth in freight and passenger traffic by 8% and 6% respectively
The
Budget highlights that the operating ratio has decreased to 91.8%
compared to the Budget Estimate of 92.5%.  A targeted operating ratio of
88.5% was announced for the year 2015-16.
The below graph shows the operating ratio over the years:
Inline image 1
 
The Standing Committee of Law and Justice submitted its report
on the Tribunals, Appellate Tribunals & Other Authorities
(Conditions of Service) Bill, 2014 today. The Bill proposes three sets
of retirement ages based on the retirement age of a Supreme Court Judge,
High Court Judge and Secretary to Government of India. The Committee
points out that the age of retirement should be the same for persons
holding same positions in the Tribunals. The retirement age of
Chairperson and Members of all Tribunals/Commissions should be 70 years
and the provision relating to reappointment should be omitted.  The
Committee by and large believes that issues raised in its report must be
reconsidered by the government. The Bill is currently pending in Rajya
Sabha.  Our Bill Brief provides greater analysis about the key features and possible issues related to the Bill.
Discussion on Motion of Thanks on the President’s Address continued in both Houses today.

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