Sunday, February 28, 2010


The budget presentation hardly excites average Indian to day because of the multi dimensional struggle for survival under a democratic government which neither cares for the citizens' welfare nor does any thing that will mitigate the rising food inflation. There fore scanning the just presented Rail Budget may be an exercise in futility. But when protagonists of the budget highlights its provision for reducing freight rate for transporting food, one has to take notice of it, if true. Here is a take on that.

"Making a reference to the hardships faced by people due to high food prices, Railway Minister Mamta Banerjee in her budget speech announced a reduction of Rs 100 per wagon in freight charges for foodgrain and kerosene for domestic".

With the value of rupee falling continuously and its purchasing power being constantly eroded what impact the above reduction can have on the food prices can be easily guessed. a fully loaded wagon to day costs Rs 27000 and a meager reduction of Rs 100 on this is nothing but a joke being perpetrated on the common man. In spite of promises made year after year to introduce perishable food friendly wagons with provision for temperature and air control, nothing has been done this year also to the utter chagrin of the growers and the processors. If food prices are to come down significantly and they are to be uniform through out the country indian Railways must play its role by expanding the freight facility and more than halving the present freight rate. An impossible dream considering the lack of vision amongst to days political class which control the lever of power.

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