Getting Railways on track :

Getting Railways on track :

WHY it made sense to present a separate railway Budget in 1924 ? Because when the first Railway Budget was presented, the Railways entailed more funds than India’s expenditure on all other aspects of administration combined.

Now ? Railways’ outlay is just 6 per cent of the total expenditure. V. domestic aviation business are more than the Railways’ traffic earnings.

Scrapping the Rail Budget is a good starting point to fix the fading utility. Bringing it back safely on track will take a lot more doing, and undoing.

ROADMAP :

  • The Railways’ accounts need to be cleaned up and made bankable.

  • The Centre needs to now seriously consider setting up an independent tariff regulator to depoliticise fares.

  • New lines and trains should be determined by economic viability rather than the constituencies covered.

  • Initiatives such as demand-driven clone trains must be deployed to boost earnings, and the Rs.37,000-crore tab on social obligations, including concessional ticketing, must be borne by the exchequer.

FOR OTHER PERSPECTIVES ON THIS SUBJECT. ONE MAY REFER TO CA LAWXPERTS ON 22.09.16.

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