Rajya Sabha saw repeated disruptions today and could not take up scheduled business.
In the Lower House, discussion on the Demand for Grants related to the Ministry of Railways concluded.The Minister replied to the debate and the demand for grants were passed.
During his reply,the Minister stated that the Railways will continue to maintain its functional autonomy after the merger of the Railways Budget with the Union Budget. The Minister added that Railways will benefit from the merger as they will no longer be needed to pay dividend to the central government in return of the Gross Budgetary Support. The Minister informed the members that currently 16% of the railways network handles 60% of the traffic and the government is working on doubling of lines in this segment. He also stated that 68% of ticketing is currently done through digital ticketing. The Minister assured the members that his ministry is working on a long term roadmap to improve the financial health of Railways.
Discussion on Demands for Grants related to the Ministry of Agriculture was also taken up in Lok Sabha.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare has been allocated Rs 51,026 crore in 2017-18. The Department of Agriculture and Co-operation under the Ministry implements schemes regarding crop husbandry, insurance and food security, and accounts for 82% of the Ministry's expenditure. Of the Rs 41,855 crore allocated to the Department, more than 75% is estimated to be spent on four schemes: (i) Interest subsidy scheme for short-term loans to farmers (36%), (ii) Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (22%), (iii) Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (11%), and (iv) Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayi Yojana (8%).
Discussion was continuing at the time of sending this report.