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Train ticket fares to be hiked? Indian Railways looks to “rationalise” fare structure

Indian Railways’ earnings have dipped both in passenger as well as freight fares.

Indian Railways looks to “rationalise” fares! Railway Board Chairman VK Yadav has said that Indian Railways is looking to “rationalise” the fare structure for passenger and freight trains. Yadav was recently quoted as saying in a PTI report that Indian Railways is going to “rationalise” the freight rates as well as fares. Terming fare hike a ‘sensitive’ issue, Yadav said that something is being “thought about”. The Railway Board chairman said the freight fares were already high and Indian Railways’ target is to shift more traffic from road to railways in this regard.

Indian Railways has adopted a set of measures to check the national transporter’s “dwindling revenues”. However, Yadav chose not to divulge details on whether train fares will be increased or not.

There are reports that economic slowdown has hit Indian Railways. The national transporter’s earnings have dipped both in passenger as well as freight fares. While passenger’s revenue earnings witnessed a dip of Rs 155 crore, freight fares saw the loss of the much bigger amount of Rs 3,901 crore in the second quarter of the current fiscal, compared to the corresponding one in the previous fiscal, the PTI report said.

Indian Railways during the first quarter (April-June) of the financial year 2019-20, earned passenger fares revenue of Rs 13,398.92 crore. In the second quarter (July-September) of the financial year 2019-20, Indian Railways’ earnings dipped to Rs 13,243.81 crore, the report added.

Even though reports over Indian Railways’ revenue earnings have been doing rounds, any move to increase passenger train ticket prices will have a political bearing.

In the meantime, both of the central government and Indian Railways have taken bold reformative measures. Financial Express Online earlier reported that Union Cabinet led by PM Narendra Modi approved the restructuring process of the Railway Board. The Union Cabinet also approved the merger of railway cadres. The new system is called the Indian Railway Management Service (IRMS).

Under the new structure, the Railway Board will have 4 members and a chairperson. At present, there are 8 members in the Railway Board. The IRMS will merge all eight Group A services of Indian Railways.

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Source: Financial Express