Friday, December 18, 2009

Lalu faked Railways profit

By: Subhadeep Bhattacharjee


In what could scare Satyam's Ramalinga Raju, former Railway Minister Lalu Prasad might have forged accounting procedure to show profits during his five years tenure. The only difference is unlike Raju, Indian politics' most celebrated icon did not land up in jail and did not fill his personal accounts, or did he? For now we give benefit of doubt to the former Bihar Chief Minister although his name figured in the multi-crore fodder scam famous in India as 'chara ghotala'

He was hailed as the most efficient Railway minister India had in its history. From starting kulhars (earthen pot) to delivering lectures at the top B schools in India and around the world Lalu was the star of the UPA-I government. He had claimed a cash surplus of nearly Rs 90,000 crore during his tenure. He took pride in claiming he had managed to turn around the same Indian Railways which experts said was heading towards financial disaster.

The country lay shocked in disbelief as to how one of the worst Chief Ministers the country had ever seen overnight transformed into one of the best Central Ministers. The cosmetic changes in the stations and coaches and less delays for trains earned Lalu praise from across the nation. Many of his worst critics were left speechless as he increased profits while reducing fares. An economist like Amartya Sen would have had to scratch his head to find the co-relation.

When maverick Mamata Banerjee took over the ministry many were skeptical about her methods of functioning. After delivering many goodies to Bengal, Mamata has come out with a white paper which questions Lalu's tall claims. The report which was tabled in the parliament claims that changes were made in the accounting procedures during her predecessor's tenure to show some questionable cash surpluses, which were also not stacked away but spent.

This might open a Pandora's Box for the government as Lalu was so highly praised that his feat became case studies at the Harvard Business School and the Indian Institute of Management at Ahmedabad. It is still questionable how much of Mamata's claims are true but most of Lalu's claims seemed unbelievable too. Since Lalu is still an ally of the Congress a lot of things might have been considered before tabling this report which suggests more authenticity.

Just a little over a year left for the West Bengal polls Mamata doesn't want to be seen as an inefficient minister carrying the lies of her predecessor. Her claims might turn out to be true as the last thing Mamata Banerjee could be associated is with Corruption. Lalu's act once again shows how low politics in this country can go. It is understandable that he fooled the Aam Aadmi but how did he manage to fool geniuses from the IIMs and Harvard?

1 comments:

jerry February 15, 2010 at 3:53 PM  

it was not lalu prasad yadav who introduced all the reforms to increase the profits of the indian railways but infact it was the railway minister who was in power before lalu who had introduced all the reforms but it was after lalu came into power that all the reforms came into effect so most of the people think that it was lalu prasad yadav..

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