Will Arun Jaitley hike Rail fares in India’s First Combined Budget? Here’s a hint

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley

New Delhi, Dec 20: Weeks before he presents India’s first combined general and railway budget, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today said rail commuters must pay for the service they receive even as he made a strong case for outsourcing of non-core functions like hospitality services.

He said year after year, the success of Railway Budget was measured by subsidising consumers and making populist announcements regarding trains.

“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,” he said.

Citing the example of power and highway sectors which started doing well only after consumers paid for services they got, Jaitley said worldover, only those services have succeeded where there is a financial model which says that consumers pay for what they receive.

“(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,” he said.

Top