Modi all set to PRIVATISE the lifeline,Indian Railway!
Debroy committee suggests corporatization of Railways
Excalibur Stevens Biswas
Policy making is not to concern the cabinet and legislation has to do nothing with the Parliament.The total Privetization,Total FDI and Total disinvestment TRISHUL of RSS Fascist governement of Hindu streamlined on making in Gujarat model.
An official panel's recommendation to allow private players in Railways has met with strong opposition from employees' union which has given a call for observing "black day" on June 30 across the country. "We have decided to observe black day on June 30 all over the country by wearing black badges," said Shiv Gopal Mishra, General Secretary, All India Railway Federation.
Terming it as a "clear roadmap for privatisation", Mishra said, "We hope that the Debroy report will not be accepted by the government."
BAGULA expert committees consisting of private parties constituted and their reports are final for the KILL the Public Sector Units,PSUs selected for disinvestment.
Railway Minister Prabhuji just rolled the ball in the court and the game starts.However,Modiji with his dream project of bullet trains have already declared the war against Indian Railway which in no more so public as every thing is managed by private companies for example Ticket Booking,Track maintenance, infrastructre, passenger services,catering and so on.Only Operation and Signaling to be managed by Ralway employees and the drives and guards,ticket checkers have not lost their job and trains with Railway stations still remain public property.
Thus,the committee headed by economist has recommended corporatization of the railway board and separation of roles of policy making, regulation and operations suggesting that the ministry of railways be only responsible for policymaking.
In a 32-page letter to Debroy, NFIR has trashed most of the recommendations, including introduction of foreign direct investment (FDI) and private partnership in operations, formation of a regulatory authority and revamping the railway board through its bifurcation, made by the NITI-Aayog member.
NFIR has alleged Debroy did not examine the actions of successive governments in starving the railways of investments and deliberately withholding passenger fare hikes through a decade. "For instance, when fares were raised and withdrawn during one Railway Budget, the loss was around Rs 7,000 crore. The organisation is not responsible for the investment-starved situation," the union said.
According to NFIR, it is not desirable to experiment with FDI and private players in infrastructure without building massive railway infrastructure first. It argues political compulsions and commitments are responsible for slowing down of the railway network and train speeds and not the railway workforce.
"In its euphoria to provide a new road map for the Railways, with private players pitching in, perhaps the committee has failed to go deep into these initiatives on the European railways, whose tariffs soared, and most of the rail systems such as the one in Britain still provide huge subsidies to infrastructure companies, which remain State-owned," the letter said.
The union also invoked British author and railway historian Christian Wolmar to highlight the failed privatisation experiment in the British Railways, which has been recommended by Debroy. Wolmar had stated that "privatisation and fragmentation had created a dysfunctional (British) Railways, as it was undertaken for ideological and financial reasons with little consideration of passengers.
Interestingly, the union has also claimed that either the inputs for the Debroy panel were hurriedly taken from the railway board or sufficient time was not spent in understanding what was supplied.
"For instance, a table at Page 66 of Debroy report wrongly shows Parbhani as another Division under South Central Railway, whereas it has only 6 Divisions-Secunderabad, Hyderabad, Vijayawada, Guntur, Guntakal and Nanded," NFIR contended.
Dismissing Debroy's argument in favour of increasing competition by introduction of new players, NFIR argued his report has ignored how, thanks to massive gauge conversion exercise since 1990s, Indian Railways has managed to successfully increase freight volumes without substantial increase in route kilometre.
"There are certain elements of discord and inconsistency within the report. For instance, it is stated the committee does not recommend privatisation of IR except in very specific non-core segments and goes on to state that privatisation is to be implemented as liberalisation' while deliberating on rationalising production of rolling stock, which is essentially a core segment of IR. This is basically the irony of the entire report," NFIR said.
The union has also cautioned against the negative impact of introducing PPP at a time when projects worth Rs 1.86 lakh crore to be implemented under the mode are virtually stalled. "Restructuringcannot be an exercise, which can be subjected to such a disastrously confused perspective of connecting the current state of matters with what can be actually and effectively desired for the future," the letter stated.
Criticising the Debroy panel for failing to understand the real reason for a regulatory body, NFIR has argued: "The necessity is perhaps of not a 'regulatory' mechanism but of an automatically processed routing-and-rating system in-built within the IR. Similarly, if pension liability is 'unbundled' from IR's liability, staff costs would sound almost menial."
The union has said Debroy panel missed the crux of the issue – unlike many other railways in the world, railways has not had a connection between the volume of freight carried on a line and the freight rate fixed for that line.
The letter also states that Debroy has also wrongly concluded that railways is to be freed from certain activities in order to concentrate on core business. It asks the committee to appreciate that self-sufficiency is essential in production and maintenance of locomotives and coaches and entrusting railways' activities to outside agencies would dilute quality of service.
Pl see the report: