An across-the-board passenger fare hike, though followed by a partial roll-back, technology adoption to improve services, attempts to bring safety back in focus following a sudden increase in train accidents, merging the Railway Budget with the General Budget to insulate Railways from financial difficulties, were some of the major steps taken by the NDA government during its first tenure. The last year also saw the Indian Railways hold the biggest online exam to fill vacancy.
Financially, the first half of last five years saw Railways facing difficulties as it struggled withburgeoning staff and pension costs, after implementation of the Seventh Pay Commission, in the back-drop of stagnating earnings.
This led the government to merge the Railway Budget with the Union Budget, while simultaneously providing it respite from having to pay dividend. The move ensured fund availability, with the government increasing budgetary support. Read more
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