Railways gets serious about making money

Railways gets serious about making money: Includes online and offline content on demand to train advertisements and installation of ATMs...

Public sector autonomy
 Apropos “Shine Jacob’s story “Railways get serious about making money” (Business Standard, April 19), first a word of gratitude to Business Standard for publishing in great detail a public sector initiative to manage own resources to optimum advantage. If Indian Railways succeed in generating non-tariff revenue at the scales projected, Railways will become a role model in making productive deployment of ‘hidden’ resources.
One can expect that the pessimism of the ‘Industry Expert’ quoted at the end of the story, which reads “It is not just about rolling out a brilliant policy – its implementation in a proper manner should also be ensured” will be blown out of proportion in the coming days with added spices about possibilities of ‘corruption’ in implementation. But, that is a virus which has to be destroyed by transparency in execution of policies.

Beyond their ownership and commitment to the roles assigned to them by statutes, public sector organizations have to be out of the clutches of control by government and political leadership. They should have functional autonomy in managing their affairs within the mandated contours and should enjoy a level playing field with their similarly placed organizations  in private sector. Reversely, private sector organizations which handle public resources (e g. deposits mobilized by banks) should have the same
responsibility to society as is expected from their public sector counterparts.

Simultaneously with improving revenue from tariff and non-tariff sources, Indian Railways need to ensure that the services across sectors (Rajdhani to suburban local ) meet the minimum expectations of passengers.

M G Warrier, Mumbai

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