The basic principles of running any establishment, especially a commercial one, are consumers pay for services they receive, said Jaitley.
Addressing a national conference on Accounting Reforms in Indian Railways organised by CII, he said, “Consumers don’t need to pay for the services they use in populism, but here they are paying for the services given by a commercial establishment.”
Presently, the Railways recover 57 per cent of the travel cost on passenger tickets. This meant if it spent Rs 100 on a train journey, it recovered Rs 57 from passengers and the remaining as subsidy.
Jaitley also said the government was aiming to create the Railways as a service body that can, apart from sustaining itself, will provide a world class quality and infrastructure. The risks of losing out to other modes of transport has already started reflecting in the Railways’ account books. Due to this, it was keen to the ministry take over its budget.
Earlier, merging the rail budget with the general budget putting to an end 92-year practice, Jaitley said the Indian Railways got “caught in a battle where populism prevailed over performance”.