Debroy Committee Report: Railways on Track for Privatization

July 2, 2015

Republished from Research Unit for Political Economy (RUPE)

Part I: Starving Rail

The extreme miserliness of the Indian State toward the Indian Railways is a striking example of economic irrationality; but it is an irrationality imposed by the reigning class interests. A thorough-going programme of public investment in the Railways would increase the productivity of the economy as a whole, render Indian industry more competitive, and do so without placing any net burden on Government finances (as we shall show). Nevertheless, the State refuses to undertake such a programme.

Part II: Debroy Committee: Campaigner for privatization

The latest, and brashest, exponent of the view that the Government lacks funds, and hence must turn to private finance, is the Bibek Debroy Committee on the Railways.

Part III. ‘Fiscal constraint’, fake alibi for inviting foreign capital

The Bibek Debroy Committee on the Railways pleads the Government’s financial stringency as an alibi for turning to private and foreign capital: “With Government funding getting thinner on account of the Government itself being hamstrung for resources, …IR has little option but to look for non-government sources of funds for investment.”

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