Honorable Rail Minister Suresh Prabhu recently presented the rail budget on floor of lower house prepared by a zero based budgeting approach.The budget emphasizes upon providing upgraded facilities to the consumers and collecting revenue through it.Some of the major avenues for collection of revenue in the current budget are as enlisted below:
1. Greater e-Services like e-catering,e-ticketing by foreign debit cards for foreigners.
2.Catering services like stalls at stations for milk,medicine,food menu for children.
3.Through the help of MPLADS funds.(124 MP would provide funds).
4.New features like travel insurance option,wi-fi etc.
5.Decrease in freight rates in a bid to increase revenue by higher volumes.
6.New trains,freight corridors etc.will generate revenue.
Thus the Rail Budget seeks to increase the share of revenue without putting a burden on the consumers.
The fund crunch has arrested the growth of railway sector in the recent past and there is an immediate need of restructuring of the sector through generation of funds. The budget is a step in the right direction and would help in making the rail as engine of economic growth of India.
The “intolerant saffron” government has revamped the rail sector in the last 16 months to a great extent thanks to Rail Minister.
Google is installing wi-fi, the infrastructure is to be upgraded on the airport lines, first braille express train, minimizing online booking by a single account to 6 per month to check Black ticketing has been recently launched to name a few.
Nevertheless, the central problem of the rail sector have been the accidents and though Rail Ministry is working on Zero Accident programme, there is absence of any concrete policy in the direction of safety of railways. It should be imperative for the government to implement the Anil Kakokdar committee recommendations because safety is the foremost responsibility of government and it is the ultimate consumer facility the government can provide to us.
That is why I say that “Acche Din nahi aaye hain, lekin Bure Din kam rahe hain”!!