asked the Secretary of State for India the financial surplus on the Indian State railways during the last official year; whether, in view of the low pay of the staff and the small allowances granted to meet increased cost of living, any of that surplus is to be used for the purpose of granting an increase in pay; and whether any recent consultation on this matter has taken place with the railwaymen's trade union?
The railway surplus for 1941–42 was expected to be Rs. 26.2 crores (£19,650,000). This figure was arrived at after charging a sum of nearly Rs. 1.5 crores (£1,100,000) for payment of cost-of-living bonuses to the lower-paid staff, which was fixed after discussion, and in agreement, with the representatives of organised labour. The surplus earned by the railways, except so far as required to be placed to reserve, goes to the relief of the Indian taxpayer, who has previously had to bear the burden of the unprofitable years of depression.