NEW DELHI: Suresh Prabhu, while presenting the Budget, announced the outlay for 2015-16 at Rs 100,011 crore. How his ministry arrived at this number relates to Hindu mythology.
According to sources, Prabhu wanted the plan allocation to be around Rs 1 lakh crore but senior Railway officials felt something inauspicious in it and they decided to add an extra ‘11’ and make it a total of Rs 100,011 crore.
The rationale behind it was that the figure was auspicious in Hindu mythology and the number three -- the sum total of three ones and zeros when added as single digits -- in numerology was related to energy, growth, expansion and principles of increase, among others, would prove good for the ailing Railways. “It just happened that top railways officials thought like this and the minister also agreed to it,” said sources privy to the whole thing. Another top official said the “Power of Three” also finds mention in the famous Dan Brown book Da Vinci Code and there could be nothing better than making the outlay Rs 100,011 crore, as the sum total of single digits was three. Whether it was a coincidence or not, but Prabhu relied on numbers. Being a Thursday, Prabhu was donning a yellow shirt and brown trouser. Unlike former Railway Ministers P Chidambaram and Mamata Banerjee, Prabhu did not make too many poetic references in the Budget.
Remembering Gandhiji, Prabhu said 2015 was being celebrated as 100 years of his return from South Africa to the country and the IRCTC would work on promoting the Gandhi circuit to attract tourists to mark the occasion.