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Increasing Rail Fares on political requirement, not economic principles (Blog)
Get Latest News on : Indian RailwaysJanuary 10, 2013 11:52:52 IST
It refers to unjustified criticism on rail-fare hike after long ten years. Main problem with our country is that here fiscal decisions are taken according to political requirements rather than economic principles!
Despite over-all increase in prices of all commodities in last ten years, rail-fares were never hiked despite heavy odds like implementation of sixth pay-commission. Such a system can derail Indian Railways to be on verge of bankruptcy like has been in case of national airliner Air India.
Country could survive interruption in services of Air India caused by non-payment of salary in time, because private airlines were there. But such a situation cannot even be imagined in world’s biggest employer Indian Railways which has monopoly in providing train-services. There should be a system whereby there may be annual auto-revision of rail-fares in tune with general price-index rather than giving a sudden jerk after ten years. It will not only give increased revenue to Indian Railways, but will make people adjust easily to annual marginal rise of rail-fares.
Rounding-off rail-fares in multiples of rupees five will eliminate pocketing of balance money by counter-persons. In case of prestigious trains like Rajdhani, Shatabdi or Duranto, and also in first-class air-conditioned in all trains, such rounding off can be in multiples of rupees 50 or 100.
Indian Railways should also discontinue serving food in trains after cost being charged compulsorily with ticket-cost. Instead packaged food by renowned companies can be sold by giving sale-incentive to train-staff. Idea will further lower fares of trains like Rajdhani and Shatabdi Express. Most airline-companies have discontinued practice of charging cost of food with tickets on domestic flights. System will avoid waste of money for those who do not prefer outside food or have peculiar choice like ‘Jain’ food without onion and garlic. Washing of utensils like spoons is totally unhygienic in these trains.
Suggested system will check shameful practice of railway-employees begging for ‘tips’ after serving lunch or dinner. It is a national shame when foreigners travelling in these prestigious trains note the aspect in their diary for highlighting in their countries.
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