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News Entry# 289184
  
Dec 20 2016 (16:20)  Arun Jaitley hints Railway fare hike, says passengers should pay for services (www.india.com)
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Posted by: Jayashree ❖ Amita*^  36114 news posts
Arun Jaitley hints Railway fare hike, says passengers should pay for services
Ahead of the combined general and railway budget, Arun Jaitley on Tuesday gave hint that there could be hike in passengers fare.
New Delhi, Dec 20: Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will present the first combined general and railway budget soon. Ahead of the combined general and railway budget, Arun Jaitley on Tuesday gave hint that there could be hike in passengers fare. Arun Jaitley rejected the idea of several subsidies populist announcements regarding trains. The Finance Minister said clearly that passengers must
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pay for the service they receive and emphasised on outsourcing of non-core functions like hospitality services in railways. Speaking at National Conference on Accounting Reforms in Indian Railways,
Arun Jaitley signalled that the Union government will resist populist measures, concentrate on infrastructure of railway stations and make passengers to pay for the facilities. Jaitley said the success of the railway budget should not have been measured by subsidising consumers and making populist announcements regarding trains. “The first essential principles of running any establishment, particularly a commercial establishment, are that the consumer must pay for the services that they receive,” said Arun Jaitley. “Railways got caught in a battle where populism prevailed over performance,” the Finance Minister added. Jaitley cited the examples of power sector companies and highways sector which suffered huge losses  as consumers were not paying for services until sector reforms. “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 said. The Finance Minister said the Prime Minister Narendra Modi led government has done away with populist announcements especially related to new train. The government had in September scrapped the 92-year old practice of presenting a separate railway budget and decided to present a combined general and railway budget for 2017-18 on February 1, 2017. “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,” Jaitley said. Rail minister Suresh Prabhu raised neither the passenger fares nor freight rates in his second Rail Budget tabled in the Parliament in February this year. The statement of Arun Jaitley that ‘passengers must pay for the services’ signalled there could be hike in passengers fare in the first combined general and railway budget.
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