AIRF has sent suggestions for General Budget to Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley.
All India Railwaymen’s Federation
4, State Entry Road, New Delhi – 110055
Ministry of Finance,
(Government of India),
Sub: Suggestions for the General Budget 2015-16
All India Railwaymen’s Federation(AIRF), representing more 1.3 million Railwaymen, being the largest and oldest organization of the Railwaymen in India, wish to put-forth following important suggestions to be considered favourably while finalizing General Budget proposals for the Financial Year 2015-16:-
1. Railwaymen are always termed as “Second Line of Defence” in our country. While National Pension Scheme(NPS) was introduced w.e.f. 01.01.2004 for all the Central Government Employees, however, Defence personnel have since been exempted from this scheme and are covered by the Old Traditional Pension Scheme/Family Pension Scheme with full social security.
AIRF is also struggling hard from the day-one to exempt the Railwaymen also from the NPS, and ultimately the then Hon’ble Minister for Railways Shri Mallikarjun Kharge on persuasions of the AIRF had recommended this issue to the then Hon’ble Finance Minister vide his letter No.2012/F(E)III/1/4-Part dated 29th March, 2014. AIRF, therefore, urges that, necessary provision to this effect may be made in the ensuing General Budget, so as to cover all the Railwaymen, irrespective of their date of appointment under Old Pension/Family Pension Scheme.
2. The BJP in the election campaign of the 16th Lok Sabha had repeatedly assured to raise ceiling limit of Income Tax adequately. It may be appreciated that, due to market inflation, the actual value of the “Rupee” has devaluated to the greatest extent as the Dearness Allowance being paid to compensate the devaluation the rupee has already crossed 107%. Therefore, it would be highly appreciated, if ceiling limit of the Income Tax is raised to at least Rs.5 lakh.
3. Education and medical facilities are gradually going out of reach of the common man because of business type institutions and private hospitals. The public education system and medical facilities have deteriorated over the years, due to inadequacy of funds being allocated under these heads. There being urgent need of augmenting education and medical facilities for the common man, allotment of funds under these heads needs to be raised to 6% and 4% of the GDP respectively.
4. In the wake of Hon’ble Prime Minister of India’s announcement at Varanasi on 25th December, 2014, while celebrating “Good Governance Day”, that different railway stations of the Indian Railways shall be augmented for the purpose of skill development, adequate fund allocation needs to be made for this purpose, so that necessary facilities are created on the earmarked railway stations for this purpose.
5. In the Rail Budget for the year 2009-10, 2010-11, 2011-12, the then Hon’ble Minister for Railways made announcement for establishment of Medical/Technical Institutions on certain important Railheads, but on account of paucity of funds, these welfare schemes could not see the day of light. Therefore, with a view to augment educational facilities of medical and technical education, some funds may be provided from the General Budget for this purpose.
6. Indian Railways being the lifeline of the country urgently need adequate budgetary support from the General Budget to augment the services as also to run this organization more safely and efficiently. It may also be appreciated that, since Indian Railways is a government organization, no Dividend and Lease Charges should be recovered from the Railways.
7. Indian Railways employees more than 13 lakh employees, and the former Hon’ble Minister for Railways had also announced “Own Your House Scheme”. Therefore, that scheme should be launched, so as to provide them house well before their retirement.