Railway finances to take Rs 20.44-bn hit as govt clears bonus for employees

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The Union Cabinet on Wednesday cleared 78 days’ productivity-linked bonus (PLB) for 1,191,000 non-gazetted railway officials, which will cost the railway exchequer Rs 20.44 billion. 

The wage calculation ceiling prescribed for payment of PLB to the eligible non-gazetted railway employees is Rs 7,000 per month. The maximum amount payable per eligible railway employee is Rs 17,951 for 78 days, said a government statement. 

Payment of PLB to eligible railway employees is made each year before the Puja holidays. The decision of the Cabinet shall be implemented before the holidays for this year as well. This comes at a time when the Union Budget had cut the budgetary support for 2017-18 by Rs 150 billion and provisioned a lower amount of Rs 531 billion for 2018-19, compared to over Rs 550 billion during the last budget, leading to a huge shortfall on the national transporter’s investment plans. 

In addition to this, the railways operating ratio is also expected to be the worst ever at close to 98 per cent this fiscal. Operating ratio is calculated based on how much money railways is spending to earn each rupee — if operating ratio is 98 per cent, it means it is spending 98 paise to earn each rupee. One of the major reasons for the operating ratio is considered to be its social sector commitments, including subsidies and pensions. 

The government also approved an agreement between India and Finland on cooperation in environment protection in both countries. Besides, the Cabinet also approved the merger of regulatory institutions the National Council for Vocational Training and the National Skill Development Agency into the National Council for Vocational Education and Training.

Other decisions
  • Agreement between India, Finland on environment protection
  • Nod to merger of regulatory bodies NCVT, NDSA

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