Finance minister Arun Jaitley says railways on verge of losing out to competition from highways and airlines sectors.
New Delhi: Weeks before he presents India’s 1st combined general and railway budget, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today have made a strong case for outsourcing of non-core tasks like hospitality services of Indian
Railways and pushed for a transparent accounting system. He stated that unless the railways strengthen its performance and internal management system, they will miss out to competition from other sectors such as highways and airlines in both passenger and cargo transportation.
“The core competence of railways is actually to drive trains, to provide those services. Hospitality may not be the core competence of the railways and hence, what is not within its core competence, the principle of outsourcing — which is accepted world over — can be a logical accumulation to those activities of railways,” Jaitley stated.
As Railways plan to shift towards accretion system of accounting from cash system, Jaitley stated the accounting reform will better reflect performance.
“Your office systems really must disclose more in its place of hiding the reality. What is the kind of investment in substructure that is coming in, what is the kind of investment in railway safety, what is the kind of outcome of expenditure that you have planned, I think those accounts must really reflect the reality,” he stated.
The government had in September maintained the 92-year old practice of presenting a distinct railway budget and certain to present a joint general and railway budget for 2017-18 on February 1, 2017.
Speaking at a conference on Accounting Reforms in Railways organized by CII, Jaitley stated that year after year, the governments have pampered in populism and people listened to Rail budget only to hear the number of new trains being announced.
“I’m glad that over the last 2 years, railways have struggled the enticement of going off-track and falling back to the same level of search of populism over performance and is engaged on improving its quality,” he stated.