Week Wrap:

Discussion on Motion of thanks continued in Lok Sabha.  

Discussion on the situation arising in the Central Institutions with specific reference to Jawaharlal Nehru University and University of Hyderabad took place in both the houses. 

The Election Laws (Amendment) Bill was passed.The Bill enables delimitation of constituencies in the Cooch Behar District of West Bengal consequent upon the exchange of 51 Bangladeshi enclaves and 111 Indian enclaves. 

 

The Railway Budget was presented in Lok Sabha by Railway Minister, Mr Suresh Prabhu yesterday. Some key proposals are given below:

o   Improving freight revenue:  The freight basket of Railways which is dominated by 10 bulk commodities will be expanded to increase the revenue base.  The freight tariff policy will be reviewed to rationalize freight tariffs, and make them more competitive as compared to other modes of transport.

o   Improving non-tariff revenue:  Over the next five years, revenue generated from non-tariff sources will be improved.  This will be done through: (i) redevelopment of stations; (ii) monetisation of land along tracks; (iii) monetisation of soft assets such as PNR enquiry, e-commerce activities on the IRCTC website, etc; (iv) advertising at stations and land adjacent to tracks outside of big stations; (v) overhauling the parcel business; and (vi) improving manufacturing activities.

o   New types of services:  The Minister announced five new types of services: two for unreserved passengers, and three for reserved passengers.

 

o   Organisational restructuring:  The Railway Board will be organised along business lines and the Chairman of the Board will be empowered accordingly.

 

For more information, on the key proposals, initiatives and budget highlights please look at our analysis here.

 

 

The Economic Survey was tabled in Parliament today.  It highlighted that GDP growth for 2015-16 was 7.6%.

 

 

 
The Standing Committee examining the Compensatory Afforestation Bill submitted their report today. The Bill creates a permanent Compensatory Afforestation Fund (CAF), under the Public Account of India, to receive the money collected as compensation for the diverted forest land. Money in the ad hoc fund (established by a Supreme Court order) shall be transferred to CAF. To know more about the features and related issues of thebill, please view our legislative brief here. 
 
With the first week of Budget Session ending, Lok Sabha’s productivity as of yesterday, stands at 120%, while Rajya Sabha’s is at 90%. Question Hour in the Lower House has functioned for 100% of its scheduled time and 50% of its scheduled time in the Upper House.

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