The Indian Railways is likely to hike the fares for all the trains by this week. The revision in fares may range between 5 to 40 paise per kilometre, say reports. The revised rates will be applied in all the categories from air-conditioned to unreserved berths. This comes in the wake of economic slowdown with the railways battling finances and its freight revenues touching as low as Rs 19, 412 crores mark.
On the other hand, its total expenditure went up by Rs 4,099 crore to a total of Rs 1.01 trillion with the target being Rs 97,265 crore for the April-October period, TOI reports.
The proposal to revise fares had received approval from the Prime Minister’s Office in November itself.
Amid reports of railways fare revision, the Cabinet approved the downsizing of Railway Board which will have four members instead of eight, besides the chairman, and merging of its cadres and departments into single entity.
Union Minister Piyush Goyal asserted that the restructuring exercise will end the 150-year-old legacy of “departmentalism” in order to promote ‘smooth working’ and do away with the ‘inefficiency’.
The Railways recorded an operating ratio of 98.44 per cent in 2017-18 which is the worst in the previous 10 years, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) had said in a report tabled in Parliament in the recent Winter Session.
A measure of expenditure against revenue, the operating ratio shows how efficiently the railway is operating and how healthy its finances are. An operating ratio of 98.44 per cent means that the Railways spent Rs 98.44 to earn Rs 100.