Don't hide surcharge earnings in traffic receipts, CAG tells Rlys

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on August 18, 2011


Indian Railways (IR) should separately specify what it earns from base fares and various surcharges, the CAG has said.

The Railway Ministry imposes surcharges on freight and passenger fares without changing the base fares.

So, the users pay more than the base fare.

Financial statements

But, in its financial statements, the Railways does not provide a break-up of receipts from base fare and surcharge.

In its report, the CAG has stated “since substantial amount is being collected over and above the base fare and freight, the Indian Railways needs to depict these charges separately in Accounts in the interest of transparency for which necessary action needs to be taken.” In 2009-10, the Railways collected at least Rs 4,972 crore through various surcharges on passenger and freight traffic.

This is close to 5.7 per cent of the total traffic receipts for the year.

Actual figure

The actual figure will be higher as the Railways admits that this data can be readily available only after its entire system is computerised.

The surcharge was at least Rs 4,013 crore in 2008-09 (over five per cent of total traffic receipts) and Rs 3,412 crore in 2007-08 (4.7 per cent of total traffic receipts).

CAG wants this data - not published in the financial statements of the Railways - to be made public.

But, even after computerisation, the information would be made available to the “management only and not to the readers of financial statement,” CAG has stated in its report.

This practice - of not specifying the earnings from basic fares and surcharges separately in financial statements - is also followed by all airlines, including the Government-owned carrier Air India.

> mamuni@thehindu.co.in

Published on August 18, 2011

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