Arun Jaitley hints at hike in Railway fares
"Railways got caught in a battle where populism prevailed over performance and the basic principle on which any commercial establishment is to be run, the first essential principle is that consumers must pay for the services that they receive," Jaitley said
Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday said, rail passengers should be willing to pay for the service they receive, while pitching a strong demand for outsourcing non-core functions like hospitality services.
— NDTV (@ndtv) December 20, 2016
Within weeks before presenting railway budget, Jaitlely said success of each budget has been narrowed down to announcing low fares and populist schemes." Railways got caught in a battle where populism prevailed over performance and the basic principle on which any commercial establishment is to be run, the first essential principle is that consumers must pay for the services that they receive," Jaitley was quoted as saying to NDTV.
Jaitley said, the Railways need to strengthen its performance and internal management system, as they face serious competition from road and aviation sectors.
"The core competence of railways is really to drive trains, to provide those services. Hospitality may not be the core competence of the railways and therefore, what is not within its core competence, the principle of outsourcing -- which is accepted world over -- can be a logical addition to those activities of railways," NDTV reported Jaitley as saying to the delegates in the confernce.
Jaitley described how Power and Highway improved their performance after commuters started paying for services, Jaitley added only those sectors will be successful where users pay for services.
" (But)We turned this whole theory upside down by a self imposed indiscipline that populism requires that I require that consumers not to pay for service that they receive. Therefore any establishment will start crumbling in its own weight and contradictions," Jaitley said.
The government will present a combined general and railway budget for 2017-18 on February 1, 2017, ending a 92-year old tradition of coming with a separate railway budget, added Jaitley.