Friday, June 20, 2014

Railways hikes passenger fares by 14.2%, freight rates by 6.5%

Dear Comrades,

Faced with huge financial crunch, the railways announced a hike in passenger fares by 14.2% with effect from Friday. Freight charges were also hiked by 6.5%.

Railways had announced a hike in both passenger fares and freight rates by 14.2% and 6.5% respectively on May 16, the day results of Lok Sabha results were declared. The hike was based on automatic fuel adjustment policy. However, the decision was rolled back within hours leaving the decision to the new government.

The transporter, which is losing Rs 30 crore a day, was hoping to garner Rs 8000 crore through the increase in passenger fares and freight charges last month. The cross subsidy on passenger fares has touched Rs 26,000 crore.

The UPA government had left passenger fares unchanged in the interim rail budget presented in February just ahead of the general elections.

Railway ministerSadanand Gowda had earlier said he would seek advice of the cabinet and Rail Tariff Authority for the hike. "We have informed the minister about the current situation. He seems convinced," said an official.

Ahead of the rail budget, likely to be presented next month, the railways has sought significant increase in gross budgetary support. In the interim budget, railways got Rs 29,000 crore from the Centre's kitty as plan support.

The Economic Times
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