Free rides for women: Ex-bureaucrat writes to PM Modi countering Sreedharan

Metro Man E Sreedharan on stage during the inaugural function of Kochi Metro at Kaloor stadium by PM Narendra Modi on 17th June 2017, Cochin. (Express Archive Photo)

A former principal advisor to the Planning Commission has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying that the Delhi government s proposal to make public transport free for women will help safeguard the interest of women within our unequal social and economic system .

According to Renuka Viswanathan, who contested the 2018 Karnataka state polls on an AAP ticket, implementing the proposal will promote the participation of women in the workforce, increase their income and lead to a rise in the revenue of the DMRC.

Women are travelling in New Delhi Metro in the ladies compartment. (Express photo by Renuka Puri)

In her letter, Viswanathan sought to counter Metro Man E Sreedharan s arguments against the move: We, administrators and economists, prefer to avoid subsidies as they distort market signals and pricing mechanisms… We know that most markets are already distorted, since buyers and sellers don t have equal access to information and because of people with means cartelise and capture markets. All governments, therefore, use subsidies to support weaker groups, level the playing field…