Mamta Bannerjee presented a wonderful Railway budget this year with lots of emphasis on improving the railway infrastructure of the country which is coming under pressure due to rising population. Apart from announcement of new trains the schemes for backward areas, budget tickets for students and nonstop trains came as the pleasant surprise this year.
Inspite of all these good announcement there were few sweeping statements made during the budget session, one of them was “Indian Railways are not a profit oriented Enterprise but a Social Enterprise “.I beg to differ on this completely.
No social venture is sustainable unless it makes steady profits and shows a growth in future. I think that we are all now reaping the benefits of the profitability of the Railways in last 5 years. Only when a company makes profit, they can be reinvested and utilized for fulfilling some of the social commitments. No institutions will even lend to the institutions which are disoriented towards the profit aspect of business. A cliché statement but very appropriate for this discussion, “Wealth Maximization should be the ultimate goal for any corporation”.
Another observation about budgets is the lack of visibility on the implementation aspect of the various schemes. The government commits huge sums of money towards the development schemes but lot of funds leaks during the bureaucratic process. I believe we need a new department for reducing the inefficiencies of the various ministries by developing the implementation strategies of various schemes in close coordination with the ministries.