Nation
'Railways to decide passenger fares, accounting with FM'
Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on Wednesday said that the government will ensure functional autonomy of the Railways and its distinct identity even after the merger of railway and general budgets.
 
"These decisions (railway and freight fares etc) will continue to be taken by the Railways. But the accounts of Railways will be presented to parliament by the Finance Minister," Jaitley told reporters.
 
Asserting that the functional autonomy of Railways will be maintained, Jaitley said: "The government will also ensure a separate discussion on Railways (expenditure) during the budget session every year."
 
It will ensure "detailed parliamentary scrutiny and accountability" vis-a-vis the expenses made under Railways is continued.
 
He said the presentation of statement of accounts will be consolidated and efforts will be made to ensure that there is horizontal merger of the two accounts.
 
Describing the merger move as "historic" and one "matching global benchmark", Prabhu also asserted that his ministry will maintain its distinct entity as a "commercial enterprise" even after the merger of budgets.
 
"It will help raise capital expenditure in the Railways, which will enhance the rail connectivity in the country. The distinct identity of the Railways will be maintained. Our effort to leverage extra budgetary resources will also continue," Prabhu said.
 
The financial powers of Divisional Railway Managers will continue, he said, adding in addition the Railways will also not pay dividends to the central exchequer.
 
Till now, the Railways has been paying about Rs10,000 crore as dividend annually.
 
The first Report of the Railway Convention Committee (2014), appointed to review the rate of dividend payable by the Railway Undertaking to the general revenue, had also favoured against payment of dividend, officials said.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Mahindra recalls new generation Scorpio, NuvoSport
Automobile major Mahindra & Mahindra on Wednesday announced proactive inspection of a fluid hose on all new generation Scorpio and NuvoSport vehicles, manufactured till June 2016.
 
"The inspection and subsequent rectification will be carried out free of cost for all new generation Scorpio and NuvoSport customers, who will be individually contacted by the company," the company said in a regulatory filing to the BSE.
 
"As an endeavor to ensure a hassle free experience for its customers, the company is proactively carrying out this activity. This action is also in compliance with SIAM's voluntary code on vehicle recall."
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Indian couple reach settlement with major Australian bank
One of Australia's biggest banks reached a settlement with an Indian couple on Thursday who sued the company for $1.9 billion.
 
Pankaj and Radhika Oswal alleged that Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) short-changed them $580 million when selling the couple's majority stake in Burrup Fertilisers after the company went into receivership, Xinhua news agency reported.
 
ANZ said the terms of the settlement were confidential but the deal with the Oswals meant the bank would take a $110 million hit to its bottom line this year.
 
A spokesperson for the Oswals said the couple, who also settled a tax bill with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) worth an estimated $76.4 million, would be leaving Australia.
 
"They're very satisfied with the settlement. They were very pleased to be able to put the facts before the court and they're pleased that it's over," the spokesman said in a statement on Thursday.
 
"They won't be staying in Australia. They are now planning their futures."
 
"The ($110 million) does not reflect the size of the settlement but the Oswals are bound by confidentiality to not disclose the details."
 
Shayne Elliott, CEO of ANZ, said that the settlement does not mean the bank has accepted guilt.
 
"ANZ does not accept many of the claims made in court and we completely reject the allegations made against our staff," Elliott said in a statement to shareholders.
 
"However, we believe the settlement is the right decision for shareholders bearing in mind the residual risks in a case of this size and complexity."
 
The Oswals' spokesman said it was "curious" that the bank would be willing to pay a significant amount of money to stop allegations that it claimed were untrue.
 
The Oswals were forced to abandon the construction of their Perth mega-mansion, dubbed "the Taj on the Swan" due to its position on the Swan River, in 2010.
 
A local council announced in September that the 6,600 sq.mt house, which the couple planned to spend $53 million to build, would be demolished and turned into road-building material.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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