Almighty Prabhu and five-point action plan to rescue the railways

No trains in the current budget and amenities get big boost

GN Bureau | February 26, 2015


#railways   #suresh prabhu   #rail budget   #fares   #rail budget 2015  

Even while invoking the almighty ‘prabhu’ on bring his ministry back on rails; Suresh Prabhu unveiled a five-point programme on reforms and governance.

As he presented the railway budget for 2015 Prabhu announced the operating ratio target of 88.5 per cent for the next fiscal. “I asked, Hey Prabhu! How will all this happen,” the minister said during the beginning of his budget speech to the amusement of those in attendance.

Operating ratio is the amount of money spent to earn every Rs 100 and is a key indicator of railways financial health. The operating ratio target for the current financial year was 91.8 per cent.

Prabhu said his ministry will work on five key “drivers of action” – adopting a medium term perspective planning including a new White Paper; building partnerships with PSUs and funding agencies; Leveraging funding opportunities including Pension Funds; revamping management practices and systems; and setting standards for governance and transparency.

The rail ministry will spend over Rs 8.5 lakh crore over the next five years in a host of areas including capacity augmentation, modernization, passenger amenities and safety but will not hike passenger fares, Prabhu announced, highlighting the political sensitivity associated with tinkering with railway fares.

For a change the minister resisted the temptation to announce new trains or extension of services in his budget for 2015-16. He also did not increase passenger fares.

This is perhaps the first time in many years that the railways have not announced any new train in the budget. The minister however assured his colleagues in parliament that he will take requests from all MPs over the next few days and review them before announcing any new train.

Prabhu also announced a slew of passenger facilities including mobile application for complaints, water vending machines in major stations, CCTVs cameras in some long-distance trains and EMUs.

The railway minister also announced that surplus coaches from trains which are running on low capacity will be rationalised and added on lines which have high density.

Meanwhile, the daily passenger capacity of Indian railways is projected to increase from 21 million to 31 million in the next one-year, while freight capacity is expected to jump 50% from 1 billion tonnes to 1.5 billion tonnes.

Freight rates were, however, hiked in general barring high-speed diesel which was lowered by 1%. Rates were hiked by 0.8% for LPG, kerosene, 0.8% for iron & steel; 2.7% for cement, 10% for urea and 6.3% for coal.

Comments

 

Other News

Terror funding through cross LoC trade in Valley unearthed

Much before the National Investigating Agency (NIA) had arrested seven Hurriyat leaders on Sunday in connection with the funding of terror activities in Kashmir, the agency had unearthed a racket involving undervaluation of the goods coming from the Pakistan occupied Kashmir for trade in Jammu and Kashmir

Key to India’s success is its diversity: President Kovind

“The key to India’s success is its diversity,” said Ram Nath Kovind after being sworn-in as president at the Central Hall of parliament on Tuesday.   “Our diversity is the core that makes us so unique. In this land we find a mix of states and regions,

AAI signs MoU with Uttarakhand govt to strengthen civil aviation

The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has signed an agreement with Uttarakhand government and Uttarakhand Civil Aviation Development Authority (UCADA) to develop the civil aviation sector in the state.   The agreement is aimed to identify relevant factors influencing the deve

Agreements signed to purchase 1050 MW of wind power

Union minister of state for power, coal, new and renewable energy and mines, Piyush Goyal was present at the signing of power purchase agreements (PPAs) for purchase of 1050 MW of wind power under the ministry of new and renewable energy’s (MNRE) first wind auction scheme.  

Timely delivery

Government projects typically suffer from time overrun and cost overrun. There appears to be no project management discipline, and extension of time and escalation of cost rarely attract the kind of serious attention they should. There is no system of fixation of accountability for these substantial deviat

Do you think driverless cars would lead to unemployment in India?

Do you think driverless cars would lead to unemployment in India?





Video

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter