Today in Lok Sabha, the Demands for Grants for the Ministry of Railways were voted upon, approving a net expenditure of Rs 1,40,367 crore. During the discussion, a Member raised concern over a large number of vacancies in the Ministry of Railways. The government informed Lok Sabha today that there are more than 12.7 lakh employees in Railways against about 15 lakh sanctioned posts.
Responding to the discussion, the Railway Minister assured the House that recruitment under Railways is ongoing. The Minister also highlighted the government's decision to move away from diesel and aim for 100% electrification of broad-gauge lines in the country.
The House then took up discussion on the Demands for Grants 2022-23 for the Ministry of Roads and Transport. Speaking on the debate, a Member raised the need for greater allocation towards road maintenance. He said that the NITI Aayog, in 2018, had recommended setting aside 10% of the Ministry's annual budget for the purpose but the allocation stood at 1.3%.
In Rajya Sabha, the Minister for Tribal Affairs replied to the debate on the working of the Ministry. He sought to assure concerns raised by Members over low allocation by stating that allocations to the ministry have successively increased in the last few years. The Minister also highlighted the developmental programs undertaken by the Ministry and reiterated the government's plan to provide 4G connectivity to more than 7 thousand tribal villages. He added that the government has allocated Rs 6,466 crore for the purpose.
The House then took up discussion on the Working of the Ministry of Railways.
Both Houses then adjourned for the week. Parliament will now meet on Monday.
Numbers to note
The Ministry of Commerce & Industry informed Lok Sabha today that the Indo-Ukraine Trade stood at $2,591 million in 2020-21. Of this, exports from India stood at nearly $451 million and imports from Ukraine stood at $2,140 million.