According to sources, the government is unlikely to hike the passengers fare in the first combined General and Railway Budget.
New Delhi, Jan 4: Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will present the first combined General and Railway Budget on February 1. According to sources, the government is unlikely to hike the passengers fare in the first combined General and Railway Budget. The decision on hike in passengers fare will be taken by the Finance Ministry as no separate Railway Budget will be presented. Sources said the government wants to increase passengers fare to improve infrastructure and services of Indian Railways, but the move is unlikely to be taken considering Assembly elections in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur.
According to a report of Jagran, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu are of the view that passengers fare should be hiked. Arun Jaitley on December 20 also gave hint that there could be hike in passengers fare. “The first essential principles of running any establishment, particularly a commercial establishment, are that the consumer must pay for the services that they receive,” Jaitley said at National Conference on Accounting Reforms in Indian Railways.
According to Railway Ministry sources, the department is expected to have an operating ratio of 94 per cent for the current financial year. Operating ratio shows how much of revenue goes into meeting expense. Lower the ratio better it is for the railways. “We have got a huge liability in the form of seventh pay commission award. The growth in coal and steel loading has been flat. Keeping all this mind, I think we have done a decent job by controlling the operating ratio at 94,” Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu said. The Railway Minister had targeted an operating ratio of 92 per cent.
The government had in September scrapped the 92-year old practice of presenting a separate railway budget and decided to present a combined general and railway budget for 2017-18 on February 1, 2017. Rail minister Suresh Prabhu raised neither the passenger fares nor freight rates in his second Rail Budget tabled in the Parliament in February 2016.
Source - India . com