Saturday, May 17, 2008

Laloo in his best (from Lok Sabha)

Lalu Prasad Yadav, sometimes spelt as Laloo Prasad or Lalloo Prasad, (Devanāgarī: लालू प्रसाद यादव) Lālu Prasād (born June 11, 1947 Goplaganj, Bihar) is an Indian politician from the state of Bihar. He is currently the Minister of Railways in the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government and the president of the Rashtriya Janata Dal.

When Yadav took over, the Indian Railways was a loss-making organization. The Rakesh Mohan Committee (headed by Rakesh Mohan, secretary, department of economic affairs) had termed it a 'white elephant' and predicted it would hit Rs 61,000 crore (US$15.4 billion) in bankruptcy by 2015. The only solution seemed to be privatization.

Defying all these predictions, the Railways booked a surplus of Rs 110 billion (U$2.47 billion). Lalu Prasad Yadav is now credited with engineering the financial turnaround of Indian Railways, that was on the verge of bankruptcy before his appointment to the office. He left passenger fares untouched and found several other profitable sources of revenue for the Railways. He also improved on his first year's performance by stating a profit of 14,000 crores with decreased freight and unchanged passenger fares in 2006. Then, in the 2007 budget, he increased the profit level to 20,000 crores with the introduction of cushion seats in all unreserved compartments.

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