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Minister od Railways, Lalu Prasad after giving final touches to the Railway Budget 2009–10, in New Delhi on February 12, 2009

Railway budget of India was the Annual Financial Statement of the state-owned Indian Railways, which handles rail transport in India. It was presented every year by the Minister of Railways, representing the Ministry of Railways, in the Parliament.

The Railway Budget was presented every year, a few days before the Union budget, till 2016. Modi government on 21 September 2016 approved merger of the Rail and General budgets from the next year, ending a 92-year-old practice of a separate budget for the nation's largest transporter. Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu said that this merger proposal was in the long term interest of railways as well as the country's economy and was a colonial practice that needed to be ended.[1]


Following the recommendation of the Acworth Committee in 1920–21, headed by British railway economist William Acworth[2] The "Acworth Report" led to reorganisation of railways, the railway finances were separated from the general government finances in 1924. After that in 1924 the budget was announced, a practice that continued till 2016.[3][4][5]

John Matthai presented the first Railway Budget for independent India on 20 November 1947 which was interim Railway Budget and only after 3 months he presented his second Railway Budget on 24 February 1948 where revised estimates showed a fall in earnings of about 8 crores rupees as compared with the budget estimates.[6][7]

Jagjivan Ram presented the railway budget most 7 times.[8]

The first live telecast took place on 24 March 1994.[9]

The Union Minister of Railways Shri Lalu Prasad giving finishing touches to the Railway Budget, 2004 - 2005 in New Delhi on July 5, 2004

Lalu Prasad Yadav, who remained Railways Minister from 2004 to May 2009, presented the railway budget 6 times in a row. In 2009, under his tenure a 108 billion (US$1.3 billion) budget was passed.[10]

In the year 1999, Mamata Banerjee (later Chief Minister of West Bengal) became the first female Railway Minister. In 2000, she became the first female to present the Railway budget[11] and is the only woman to do so for two different governing coalitions (NDA and UPA).

In 2014 budget, Railway Minister D. V. Sadananda Gowda announced the first bullet train and 9 High-Speed Rail routes.[12]

The last Railway Budget was presented on 25 February 2016 by Mr. Suresh Prabhu.[13]


Traditions included the Railway Minister making final changes to the budget, the railway minister carrying the briefcase with the budget documents, and an after budget press meet.

See also


  1. ^ "Railway budget to be merged with General budget from 2017". 14 August 2016 – via
  2. ^ "No. 32188". The London Gazette (Supplement). 11 January 1921. p. 278.
  3. ^ Powell Anstey, Vera (1952). The Economic Development of India. Ayer Publishing. pp. 136–137. ISBN 9780405097751.
  4. ^ Headrick, Daniel R (1988). The tentacles of progress: technology transfer in the age of imperialism, 1850-1940. Oxford University Press. p. 80. ISBN 9780195051162.
  5. ^ Debroy, Bibek (6 March 2012). "Railway Budget 2012: Best time to raise fares is now". The Economic Times. Retrieved 19 March 2012.
  6. ^ "This Day 73 Years Ago, Independent India's First Interim Railway Budget Was Presented by John Mathai".
  7. ^ "Speech of DR. JOHN MATTHAI introducing the Railway Budget for 1948-49, on 24th February 1948" (PDF). Archived from the original on 12 July 2021. Retrieved 12 July 2021.((cite web)): CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  8. ^ "लालू यादव नहीं, इन्होंने सबसे ज्यादा बार पेश किया था रेल बजट" (in Hindi).
  9. ^ "Railway budget derailed: Five facts you probably didn't know".
  10. ^ "Lalu announces some more trains". The Hindu. 20 February 2009. Archived from the original on 23 February 2009. Retrieved 14 September 2013.
  11. ^ "Speech of Kumari Mamata Banerjee Introducing the Railway Budget for 2000-01, on 25th February 2000" (PDF).
  12. ^ "Gowda's announces first bullet train between Mumbai-Ahmedabad". Patrika Group. 8 July 2014. Retrieved 8 July 2014.
  13. ^ "After 92 years, Rail Budget is history". Business Standard. Retrieved 24 March 2017.

Further reading