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Railway travel going to get costlier

When I read about the Government's decision to increase the railway fares by
about 14% for passengers and about 6% for freight, it was uneasy to accept
it. Not that railways affect my monthly budget directly, but for the reasons
that the new government is into power and everyone expects them to be soft
on our pockets. Many would not even bother on the price rise as railway
ticket doesn't pinch them daily. There are some people who would be affected
gravely as they have to use rail for their regular travel. But many amongst
fall neither into former nor into latter category. They are specifically
attributed as analysts. They will sit in the news rooms, social networks and
would keep giving their insights on the after effects of a decision.
Sometimes I happen to be one of them. I will be very unfair to my needs and
will try all bits to defend/attack a decision.

Of course, no one likes to see inflation and an increase in rail fares is
nothing but a direct dosage of inflation. Then I thought, if the government
had other choices, why would have they gone for something that is unpopular.
Also, to take note, some assembly elections are on the way, extreme steps
will adversely affect the BJP at state levels. I went through some of the
statistics and felt that quite a number of crores are going to railway
support from the union budget. My sleepy estimate was about 30000 crores
going to railways as a budgetary support. This excludes the other leverages
that it gets. The Central Govt has to perform if they want to stay for
long. Even if they are here to make money, they cannot do wonders in five
years. So let us not be judgmental so quickly. Let's have patience for
another year and see what Mr. Modi has in the grey matter. If you have voted
him to power, you will have to empower him to experiment, if he fails to
meet the desired results, alternatives can always be explored. Actually, the
fares should have gone up some four years back. Since it didn't happen then
, it is important now. Let us also be prepared to flay the govt for upcoming
rise in petroleum products as it is likely to happen soon.

Some people will criticize the government for being unfair to common people
by doing this. They should have alternately taxed the HNIs, improved the
banking systems and may have curtailed other luxuries. But as a matter of
fact, we cannot tax the corporates directly unless the economy picks up. And
if we think that these things will not happen, we are wrong, it will
certainly happen , but in phases. Even the corporates get more affected by
the freights than the common people. For years we have been silent on every
silly decision , now everyone wants an hourly resolution of things. This is
too much to ask for.

As far as treating corporates is concerned , whatsoever taxes we apply,
unless you have a leaking pot in the name of corruption and subsidies ,
nothing is likely to survive . Best is to fix up the expenses and plan for
the receipts. If railways sustains on its own , we will have handsome
incremental money being utilised for other reasons. Also see from a
perspective that railways houses millions of people and workers, it's
sustainability has to come from its own instead of bail outs by govt. Can a
bank or institution survive on govt money every year if it's model is
unprofitable for growth? Look at it as an organisation, an organisation
which is not making enough money to sustain its expenses, an organisation
which is turning an operational npa and banking too much on bail outs of
government. If the receipts will not increase, the bail outs will. A fairly
large number of people work for railways , can we survive on bailouts all
the time ? I never questioned any govt's decision on rail fare increase
because it's already very less and it has to go up for survival. For years
due to political reasons , the decisions have been taken back or moulded.

Sometimes we get into the election campaign mode and involve Gujarat in to
discussion. Actually , its ironical to bring Gujarat on table whenever the
new government takes a decision. For years, the Gujrat has done better than
many states , it's not a princely Alice in wonderland, but it is far better
than many states. Let us appreciate the good about it. railways is not a
personal asset to mr modi or Gujarat.

And yes , it's ok to criticise , discuss and react to every decision, but
turning it to a political vehicle is not expected from professionals like
us. Why to bring aap , congress or Bjp on the board when you guys can apply
economics to it ? I appreciate people for raising the economical side
effects of this decision, but being skeptical about personalities or making
satires on it is way too much. We cannot buy politics in every move, let us
at least complete 49 days with this new govt. are we asking for the moon
because we have too much expectations from mr modi ? ;)

Sent from my iPhone


drkaustubhjoshi said…
A good take on the price rise. Agree, that some time need to be given to the new government to experiment.
One just wonders how the Modi govt is different from the previous Congress govt. The same policies.
Ankit Gupta said…
@Kajo: Right, it would be too early to decide.
Ankit Gupta said…
@tomichan: For someone to wonder, you must atleast let one month complete ;) Our past experiences have been so bad that it has become very difficult to trust people. Still, there is a hope that this time something will change.
Ankit Gupta said…
@tomichan: For someone to wonder, you must atleast let one month complete ;) Our past experiences have been so bad that it has become very difficult to trust people. Still, there is a hope that this time something will change.

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