The best way to know the self is feeling oneself at the moments of reckoning. The feeling of being alone, just with your senses, may lead you to think more consciously. More and more of such moments may sensitize ‘you towards you’, towards others. We become regular with introspection and retrospection. We get ‘the’ gradual connect to the higher self we may name Spirituality or God or just a Humane Conscious. We tend to get a rhythm again in life. We need to learn the art of being lonely in crowd while being part of the crowd. A multitude of loneliness in mosaic of relations! One needs to feel it severally, with conscience, before making it a way of life. One needs to live several such lonely moments. One needs to live severallyalone.

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

A MORE ‘IN-BETWEEN-THE-LINES’ RAILWAY BUDGET – THE WAY TO A POPULIST UNION BUDGET? (II)

Extended from: 

A MORE ‘IN-BETWEEN-THE-LINES’ RAILWAY BUDGET – THE WAY TO A POPULIST UNION BUDGET? (I)


http://severallyalone.blogspot.in/2013/02/a-dampening-and-more-in-between-lines.html 

Hiking passenger fares is a sensitive issue as it directly affects the consumers and may invite negative sentiments from the lower income groups – a gamble not to be taken in an election year.

The Indian politicians believe perceptions play a major role in the electoral battles. But, what if it is a do-or-die situation for the Indian Railways?

So, squeeze him out indirectly. Let him be in the perception that the fares were not hiked again. As for the other price hikes, the UPA government believes (wrongly) that it would be able to sail over the troubled waters by launching its populist schemes.

By the time, the voter would come to realize these back-door games, the elections would already be over.

The Railway Budget has increased the ticket prices indirectly by increasing rates like reservation charges, Tatkal charges and fuel surcharges. As expected, the ‘sleeper class’ has been given the least hike, but the consumer here too, has been duped by the other indirect tariff hikes.


The real killer is the proposal to hike the freight charges as well as its linking with the fuel and energy price variations. So, be ready to pay more each time the diesel or power prices are raised.

Indian Railways, though has a relatively low share of freight, i.e., 20 per cent, around 32 per cent of the Kerosene, diesel and LPG is transported through the Railways. 

As the fuel prices are now deregulated and market controlled, expect more of regular periodic hikes in prices of fuels and so of the dependent commodities, from foodgrains to consumer durables.

Periodic hike in the fuel prices would increase freight charges increasing prices of the commodities being transported through the Indian Railways. The increased rail freight rates would, in turn, further increase the fuel prices. That would, indeed, be a vicious circle for Manmohan’s ‘aam aadmi’.

But that is indirect and Mr. Bansal has followed one of his predecessors Lalu Yadav, who did many such back-door things, like Tatkal pricing or break-journey rules, to increase revenue figures, that ultimately, squeezed out the common passenger.

What Mr. Bansal has done goes one step ahead. He has not only squeezed the common passenger but has also pressed hard the common man, by introducing the measures that would not only increase the ticket prices, but would also cause price increases across the spectrum of commodities linked with fuel prices and rail transportation.

So, the Indian Railways would be able to manage better and the UPA government will have greater space to manipulate the resources towards the schemes like the direct transfer of cash subsidy or food security or farm debt waiver. 

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey - http://severallyalone.blogspot.com/