No further fare hike till next rail budget: Chairman of Railway Board
October, 24th 2013
After increase in passenger fares twice in the current financial year, railways today ruled out any fresh hike till the next rail budget in July.
"There is unlikey to be any change in fares till next budget which is around July," Chairman of Railway Board Arunendra Kumar said here when asked whether railways will effect any further hike in near future.
Railways is likely to present a vote-on-account in March next year as the Lok Sabha elections would be round the corner during that period. So, the budget is slated to be held around June-July 2014.
Passenger fares were hiked by about two per cent on October 7, the second time in the current fiscal, as railways decided to link the fare with fuel adjustment component (FAC). The fare was hiked by about 20 per cent earlier in January and later on reservation fee and superfast surcharges were increased from April this year.
The next FAC-linked fare revision is slated in April 2014.
FAC was approved in the rail budget 2012-13 which enabled the public transporter to review freight and passenger fares in every six months keeping the input cost in mind.
Asked about the possibility of levying festival surcharge on tickets, Kumar ansered in negative saying "there is no such plan."
There is a shortfall of total Rs 4000 crores in railway's earnings during the April-September period. While the earnings in passenger segment has fallen by Rs 3000 crore, freight income is down by Rs 1000 crore during the period in the current fiscal.