Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Rail Budget 2013: No hike in passenger fares

Rail Budget 2013: No hike in passenger fares

NEW DELHI: In a relief to passengers, Railway Minister Pawan Kumar on Tuesday announced that there will be no further hike in railway fares as of now. "As regards passenger fares since these were revised only in January this year, I do not intent to pass on the additional burden to them now as railways and the railways will absorb the impact of Rs 850 crore on this account," Bansal said.

Bansal said that the Indian railways will bear the additional burden of a diesel price de-regulation, but the same will not be passed on to the consumer.

Bansal said that any hike in fares is implemented to provide better facilities to the commuters, and should not be viewed as a move made to generate profits. Bansal said that the UPA government is sensitive to the needs of the people and the fare hike implemented in January was carried out after wide-spread consultation.

While the hike was meant to generate Rs 6,600 crore for railways, a subsequent hike in fuel prices will erase around Rs 3300 crore from the same.

However, Bansal announced a hike in reservation and cancellation fees. "There are number of charges which have not been revised for the last several years. These charges are in the form of compensation for cost actually incurred by railways in rendering relevant services. I propose to effect marginal increase in some of these. These include supplementary charge for super fast trains, reservation fee, cancellation charge and tatkal charge," Bansal said.

Bansal announced abolishing the concept of enhanced reservation fee with a view to simplify the fee structure. He also announced a slew of passenger-friendly measures in his railway Budget 2013. While many stations were identified for improving the railway infrastructure, on-board facilities for passengers were also announced.

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