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.
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.