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Blog Entry# 2098518  
Posted: Dec 21 2016 (12:56)

9 Responses
Last Response: Dec 21 2016 (18:38)
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Dec 21 2016 (12:50)   Govt may hike train fares after Budget to check its mounting losses

Jayashree   37352 news posts
Entry# 2098518   News Entry# 289288         Tags   Past Edits
The government might hike rail passenger fares and freight rates after the budget to stave off mounting losses, a top official said on Tuesday, as finance minister Arun Jaitley said passengers should pay for services they receive.
Speaking weeks before he presents India’s first combined railway and Union budget in February, Jaitley made a strong pitch for the railways to outsource non-core activities such as hospitality.
“Railways got caught in a battle where populism prevailed over performance... the basic principle on which any commercial establishment is to be run is that consumers must
pay for the services they receive,” Jaitley told reporters.
The railway ministry official said the public-sector behemoth suffered an annual loss of Rs 33,000 crore on account of passenger fare subsidy but any hike announcement might come after the budget as it wants to assess budgetary support.
“We want the government to help railways bear the cost of the losses but so far, the finance ministry has refused any assistance,” said an official who did not wish to be quoted.
Read: The new rail fare structure is confusing and will help airlines
The ministry is also likely to move the cabinet soon, seeking approval for setting up a committee to recommend rates of passenger fare and freight.
India’s colonial-era railways carries more than 23 million passengers daily but creaky infrastructure, poor maintenance and shoddy revenue generation has hurt the world’s fourth-largest rail network.
Successive governments have backed away from reforms and especially hiking passenger fares, which is a politically sensitive topic.
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As a result, the country’s largest employer runs many trains at rock-bottom fares and struggles to balance its books.
For example, for every Rs 100 spent on a rail passenger, the railways recovers just Rs 57 while the other Rs 43 is government subsidy. The poor financial health has taken a toll on rail infrastructure and accidents are common.
A number of state elections are scheduled for February-March, including the politically crucial Uttar Pradesh and Punjab.
The finance minister said to remain competitive against highways and airlines, railways would have to strengthen its performance and internal management system.
“The core competence of railways is to drive trains. Hospitality may not be the core competence of the railways and what is not within its core competence, the principle of outsourcing -- accepted the world over -- can be a logical addition,” Jaitley said.
He also dismissed Opposition criticism of the government’s recall of Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 notes and said the Reserve Bank of India had enough currency for circulation.
“We were prepared. There has been no day when RBI did not dispense adequate cash to banks. Even today, RBI has more than adequate cash to last not just till December 30 but even beyond it,” Jaitley said.
Millions have lined up outside banks and ATMs since the high-value banknotes were scrapped last month but a cash crunch and frequent rule changes have irked the Opposition.
The finance minister also pitched for a shift to digital transactions, announcing small traders and businesses with a turnover of up to Rs 2 crore would pay less tax if they accept payments through banking and digital platforms. The presumptive tax on digital and cheque payments will be 6% instead of 8%.
Jaitley said the government will continue to incentivise the shift from cash transactions as there had been a 300-400% increase in digital and e-payments.

4 posts - Wed Dec 21, 2016

Dec 21 2016 (15:42)
Guest: 53bd58fd   show all posts
Re# 2098518-5            Tags   Past Edits
Sir, MCQ ka jamana hai or aap to pura Essay likh dete hai apne comment me..:D Pure katha ka ek saar, Politics ke kaaran Suresh Prabhu phir se Middle class ko hi chuna lagayenge.

Dec 21 2016 (17:04)
Foamer~   1934 blog posts
Re# 2098518-6            Tags   Past Edits
This govt. could have increased in 2014 when the election victory and their personal stock was high. People were ready having realised that ticket prices were too low, maybe some noise from opposition. But they let go of the opportunity. Any major reform needs to be initiated within 6 months of a victory.

Dec 21 2016 (18:27)
For Better Managed Indian Railways~   1933 blog posts
Re# 2098518-7            Tags   Past Edits
Mr Prabhu was hand picked to become RM in 2015 after apparently lack lusture stint of Mr Gowda (2014-15).
It looks RM planned to give more facility & conveniences to paxs and then increase the fares. So he aggressively pursued online help to passengers thru twitter, Emphasis on increasing pax. ameneties at Rly stations, Online options for catering, cleaning of stations/ trains as a part of Swachch Bharat Abhiyaan etc.
A lot of tough steps like not introducing too many new trains, review of unwanted and political stoppages of trains, review of
subsidies etc were propagated.
But, the defeats of NDA/BJP in Bihar and Delhi legislative elections, gave an idication that public dislike strong steps. The public mood and the mean role (to block development, the key election plank of NDA) played by opposition forced govt to go slow.

Dec 21 2016 (18:34)
For Better Managed Indian Railways~   1933 blog posts
Re# 2098518-8            Tags   Past Edits
Aap ka kehna sahee lag rahaa hai,
Sada aisa hi hota chala aaya hai.
Kyon ki Netaon ke liye,
ameeron ke paas note hai
Gareebon ke paas vote hai
Middle class to ek langote hai
jo lachaar desh ki izzat dakhta reh jaata hai
aur is khinchne mein sabko mazaa aata hai!!

Dec 21 2016 (18:38)
For Better Managed Indian Railways~   1933 blog posts
Re# 2098518-9            Tags   Past Edits
My (dark) Lord, MCQ problems solve karne ke liye, Saar jaananaa bhi zaroori hota hai
Yeh main naihin kehta kitabon mein likha hai aur, hamare buzurgon ne bataaya hai!!!!

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