Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has recently said in a statement that the railway commuters must pay for the services at the railway stations. He said that the Indian railways got “caught in the battle where populism prevailed over performance”.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley
“The first essential principles of running any establishment, particularly a commercial establishment, are that the consumer must pay for the services that they receive…Therefore, world over only those services have succeeded where the financial model is — consumers must pay for services they receive. We turned this whole theory upside down by self-imposed indiscipline that populism requires consumers do not pay for the services they receive.”
-Arun Jaitley, Finance Minister
“Normally, people don’t give up their turf so easily but because of this pressure, the railways is keen that the Finance Ministry takes over the Railway Budget itself because the burden of supplementing what is left behind becomes our problem…The core competence of the railways is to drive trains, and hospitality may not be its core competence. Therefore, the principle of outsourcing, which is accepted world-over, can be a logical addition to the activities of the railways in areas not within its core competence”, he added.
Earlier in September, Arun Jaitley had announced that there wouldn’t be a separate railway budget for the next financial year and so on. Jaitley further said that the success of railway budget is gauged by the amount of subsidies included in it year by year; the railway sector needs to improve upon its performance in order to match up to the growth rate of other sectors.
Citing the growth of the power and highway sector, he said that the services’ sector that has its customers pay for the services that they provide do better than where the services are not paid for. The minister emphasised the principle of receiving payments for the railway services which is deemed necessary for the growth of the sector by Jaitley.
“Your accounting systems really must reveal more instead of concealing the reality. What is the kind of investment in infrastructure that is coming in, what is the kind of investment in railway safety, what is the kind of outcome of outlay that you have planned, I think those accounts must really reflect the reality”, said Jaitley