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Lalu's lesson for IIM students

May 04, 2006 19:34 IST

The Railways, which was considered to be an organisation heading towards bankruptcy a few years ago, has generated Rs 13,000 crore (Rs 130 billion) worth internal resources as also surplus revenue of Rs 11,000 crore (Rs 110 billion) during the UPA regime, Railway Minister Lal Prasad said on Thursday.

"Sincere efforts accomplished with honesty will bring about progress and development of any organisation," Prasad told an IIM delegation headed by Prof G Raghuram.

Raghuram, a professor of the public system group at IIM-A, was part of the Rakesh Mohan Committee appointed in 2001 by then Railway Minister Nitish Kumar which had predicted a Rs 60,000 crore (Rs 600 billion) debt for the organisation in the next 10 years leading it to bankruptcy.

Prasad told the IIM-team how he changed the old dictums like raising of goods and passenger fares to minimise cost and increase trade, reduced wagons turnaround time from seven to five days, raised carrying capacity of goods train from 3,200 tonnes to 4,000 tonnes, permitted private players to run container services, increased number of coaches, occupancy and speed and reduced catering and parcel losses.

The Railway Minister brushed aside a query by the team whether he should be called the 'CEO' of Indian Railways following its spectacular performance during his two years as railways minister.

When Prof Raghram suggested that Railway should have an advisory board comprising of experts from IITs, IIMs and other universities to interact regularly for the benefit of the Railways, Prasad said the organisation is already full of talented people.

The IIM-team would also be attending the two-day general managers' conference to be inaugurated by Railway Minister in New Delhi on Friday. Chairman Railway Board J P Batra and other board members were present during the meeting at Rail Bhavan.

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