Advance payments to Railways from public sector units saved it from showing a negative balance: CAG report

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on December 02, 2019 Published on December 02, 2019

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Passenger response to give up subsidy not encouraging

Advances from public sector units saved Indian Railways from showing a negative balance of over Rs 5500 crore in fiscal 2018, said a Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report tabled in Parliament on Monday.

“Indian Railways, in fact, would have ended up with a negative balance of ₹5,676.29 crore instead of surplus of ₹1,665.61 but for the advance received from NTPC and IRCON. Exclusion of this advance would otherwise have increased the Operating Ratio to 102.66 per cent. Operating Ratio of 98.44 per cent was the worst in the last ten years,” said an official release.

Freight profit compensates passenger losses

The trend of the Railways using profits, generated from freight revenue, to make good the loss-making passenger traffic also continued during the year. “Almost 95 per cent of the profit from freight traffic was utilised to compensate the loss on operation of passenger and other coaching services,” said the release.

The Indian Railways was unable to meet its operational cost of passenger services and other coaching services. One of contributing factor in this regard has been free and concessional fare tickets/ passes and Privilege Ticket Orders (PTOs) to various beneficiaries.

Maximum concession users

"People were unwilling to give up the subsidy to travel in train, added the release. The response to ‘Give Up’ scheme from the senior citizen passengers was not encouraging," it added.

Railways increasingly depended on gross budgetary support and loans for making capital expenditure, it added. “The net revenue surplus decreased by 66.10 per cent from ₹4,913.00 crore in 2016-17 to ₹1,665.61 crore in 2017-18. The share of internal resources in total capital expenditure also decreased to 3.01 per cent in 2017-18,” said the release.

This had resulted in greater dependence on Gross Budgetary Support and Extra Budgetary Resources.

Published on December 02, 2019
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