Powered By Blogger

Popular Posts

Search This Blog

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Bankruptcy To Billions And Back

In the not too distant past, railways story of moving from bankruptcy to billions was being efficiently and effectively touted in various forums. The scenario reversed in a short time and now the common talk is how an organization that dealt in billions has reverted to bankruptcy.

Laloo’s turnaround was not exactly a turnaround as it happened without any change whatsoever at the ground level. Service, infrastructure and morale remained where it was, almost in the pits, yet the figures showed a marked upwards trend. Theoretical increase in wagon capacity and many other similar stunts that are bound to inflict wounds in the future enabled a marked improvement in the financials.

But, do financials really matter, if the finances so generated are not ploughed back into the system for systemic and infrastructural improvements? The answer is a big NO. A healthy balance sheet that does not result in improvements in services and infrastructure is as good or as bad as a diabetic balance sheet. Moreover a turnaround that falls flat on its face in a short time is at best a farce. The turnaround was therefore not what it appeared and was being touted at that time.

What is worse, financial bankruptcy or bankruptcy of vision? The latter it is, for how does one explain the precarious condition of a so called commercial organization that is in monopoly in a sellers market. Well we the bureaucrats of the great Indian Railways seems to have achieved the impossible.

Bureaucracy is the issue. An overbloated bureaucratic machinery with archaic decision making and contractual mechanisms does not really gel in the twenty first century. The problem is therefore not political but primarily bureaucratic in nature and unless the bureaucracy wakes up and starts working in a unidirectional manner for the organization and not for self perpetuation, there seems to be no direction of travel except downwards, aiming for the pits.


1 comment:

  1. Top bureaucracy plays in the hands of our beloved politicians. The Politician won the elections with 10-15 % electorate support and secures cabinet bearth with 10-15 party men's present in assembly. The coalition governance forces every bureaucrat to seek directions of these politicians.
    Politicians take decisions to please their voters/supporters. Such decisions cannot be realistic. The bureaucrats has to take decisions with ground reality. Privatisation is another form of accepting our own inefficiency. When we fail, we switch over to others.
    In my opinion, reducing the size of bureaucracy can be one of the options to change the direction of movement of our organisation.