Logistics

Ministry working on plan to hike rail fares

Mamuni Das New Delhi | Updated on November 12, 2017

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The Railway Ministry is working on a proposal to increase passenger fares. But, the timing of when this will be implemented is not yet clear. Many in the Ministry say this will be a “political decision”.

Rail passenger fares have not been revised upwards significantly for close to ten years now.

In June, the then Railway Board Chairman, Mr Vivek Sahai, has admitted to a Parliamentary Committee - the Railway Convention Committee (RCC) - that there is a move to increase passenger fares.

This is stated in the RCC report, which was tabled in Parliament on Tuesday. “I would like to bring to your notice that even if we increase our fare(s) - I think the time has come to do that and we are working on it, which is an inflationary kind of decision..,” Mr Sahai told the RCC on June 10. Ministry sources declined to comment on the issue. Mr Sahai, who retired on June 30, was also holding additional charge of Member (Traffic). He also added that the increase “can be to the extent of 10/15 per cent.”

Such an increase “will give (Railways) about Rs 2,000/2,500 crore if we (are) able to increase the fare all across the people who are travelling. If we exclude some, then it will come down to that extent.”

The railways passenger fares are highly subsidised from freight earnings. In 2008-09, even the high-end first and second air-conditioned passengers did not pay fully for the services - only passengers availing the AC three-tier services and AC chair car services covered their operational costs.

In the last few years, Railways did increase reservation fee, cancellation fee and tatkal charges.

>mamuni@thehindu.co.in

Published on September 01, 2011

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