White Paper on Railways to be tabled in Parliament soon



New Delhi: The much-awaited White Paper on Railways is likely to be tabled in the coming session of Parliament, bringing forth its financial position and former minister Lalu Prasad's claim of turning around the PSU behemoth.

A senior Railway official said, "It (White Paper) is almost ready and final touches are being given to it."

"It will have certain basic data on Railways' operational and financial condition," he said without elaborating.

Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee has promised in the Rail Budget to come out with a White Paper on organisational, operational and financial status of Railways based on last five years performance and develop Vision-2020 with long and short term strategy and plan of action.

While Lalu Prasad had put the surplus funds with the Railways at Rs 90,000 crore, Banerjee had said that a corpus of Rs 8,361 crore remained after expenditure of Rs 13,600 crore on account of Pay Commission award last year and Rs 2,600 crore this year.

Claiming that surplus funds were not available, Banerjee had recently said, "There was no money to install anti-collision device."

Railways have constituted a committee comprising senior officials to prepare the White Paper.

On being asked about the contents of the White Paper, Mamata had said, "I have committed to Parliament and I would submit it there only."

However, the controversial Land Acquisition Bill may not be introduced in the winter session given the Railway Minister's opposition to it.

Mamata has said the government should have no role in acquiring land for private projects.

Bureau Report