Rlys eyes freight to meet earnings target, but fuels inflation

Mamuni Das New Delhi | Updated on February 15, 2011


Look who is contributing to inflation. To meet the stiff earnings target for 2010-11, the Indian Railways charged 11-13 per cent more this January against January 2010 for movement of even sugar. The rates for moving de-oiled cake, which is animal feed input, were also up by a similar level. On an average, the Indian Railways charged its customers close to seven per cent more for moving one tonne of commodity over one kilometre.

Domestic container movement also become dearer by 19 per cent in January with box operators now paying that much more for moving one tonne of commodity over one kilometre.

The cost of transporting cement has also gone up. To move a tonne of cement over one km, transporters have had to pay 8.46 per cent more this January over January 2010. Moving one tonne of raw material to steel plants by each km now costs 7.7 per cent more as do iron ore export movements.

The Railways earned 81 per cent more for tonne/km this January against January 2010 for moving ore.

Supported by these increases, the Railways registered almost 12 per cent increase in freight earnings in January 2011 against the corresponding period last fiscal, according to the latest estimates. This is despite an under five per cent growth in net tonne kilometre (NTKM) — a productivity parameter that measures both loading and distance — during the period.

The Indian Railways is unlikely to meet the budgeted freight loading target for the current fiscal. The target was to load 944 million tonnes (mt) of freight traffic in the financial year 2010-11. Till January, it has moved only 755.97 mt to meet the target it will have to move 188.03 mt of cargo in the remaining two months — February and March. This means it has to load about 94 mt each month, which is 13 per cent higher than the maximum freight load of 82.55 mt actually moved in one month by the Railways in the current fiscal.

This January, the Railways moved 82.55 mt of goods traffic, which is the highest traffic carried in a month this fiscal.

Published on February 15, 2011

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