Friday, February 29, 2008
From fatal bankruptcy to natal buoyancy - the revival of Indian Railways..
From fatal bankruptcy to natal buoyancy, that is how the splendid and massive economic revival of the Indian Railways has been characterised by the press and media in the country. A juggernaut which was considered as good as dead, rose from the ashes to reassert itself, generating profits of Rs 25,000 crores in the past year.
It was during the time of Vajpayee and his cronies who came to power misusing the religious sentiments of the pious, that their railway minister Nitish Kumar came up with the Rakesh Mohan report that the Indian Ralways was doomed for disaster and total bankruptcy, needing 65,000 crores in ten years just to keep it's head above water..
Just two years after those religious bigots were bolted out from Delhi, Lalu Yadav, the down-to-earth railway minister did the impossible in the country. He turned round the Indian railways.. When Rakesh Mohan committee had recommended that 65,000 crores of money from your and my taxes would be needed to maintain the inefficiency of the incapable ministers and the religious fanatics, who were burning trains, especially at Godhra, (read the Justice Banerjee commission report), Lalu Yadav threw his report in the dustbin did the impossible. Rakesh Mohan, who predicted that Indian Railways was doomed for disaster, the usual bureaucratic style, was promoted by the government and sent to Bombay as the deputy governer of the Reserve Bank of India. Poor sarkari babu, he must be ashamed of his low quality work which turned out totally wrong and useless, !!.
The Indian Railways will even put the top private sector industries in the country to shame. Reliance for instance, generates a thousand crore profits slitting the throat of the average man !!
For four years Lalu has managed to hold the railways fare and freight rates steady, even reducing it by a nominal 1 rupee last year. This has been a great inflation buster for the country, because an inefficient railways will be forced to raise the fares and it would directly affect the transportation costs of the economy, fuelling inflation in turn. He not only managed to hold the fares, especially when the oil prices in the world market were soaring high, he dug into it's inefficiencies, corrected them, provided the leadership for the workforce and created cash surpluses of thousands of crores, about 25,000 crores this year. In all during the four years he has generated for the country revenues worth rs.60,000 crores. He has not only proved Rakesh Mohan and his political mentors completely wrong, he has earned for the country the same amount in less than quarter the time they would have helped squander the same for the country, in the name of good governance and maintaining public utilities !!
Definitely lot of lessons for the bureaucrats and other political leaders to learn, not to mention of the business school professors and students in the country.
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