Need to rationalise railway freight rates: Railway Board Chief

Railway freight rates

Railways Board chairman VK Yadav on Thursday during a media interaction signalled that the government is looking at revising railway freight rates to bring down the cost of logistics in the country.

“We are going to rationalise both fare and freight. Railway freight rates are already very high so I don’t think we will be raising freight rates. In fact, we need to rationalise freight rates… to bring down logistics cost,” he said.

In an attempt to increase its share of freight loading, the national transporter in September made a decision to defer the Busy Season Charge (BSC), which is levied at 15% from 1 Oct-30 June, along with other incentives.

The government is considering the possibility of implementing a hike in passenger train fares in a bid to combat the economic crisis looming over the country. Mr Yadav on Thursday hinted that “something is being thought about it” although he refrained from divulging any further details regarding it.

The chairman while spelling out the Government’s plan of ‘Rationalisation of Railways’ stressed the need to lower railway freight rates in order to attract more freight from the road. Speaking at a press conference on Thursday, Yadav said that the chance of raising freight fares is next to minimal since the prices were already high.

A suggestion to raise passenger fares has been in the offing for months now as the railway industry copes up with the serious financial crunch.

But the spokesperson of the Railways Board RD Bajpai put an end to the speculation by emphasising that there is no proposal to hike fares.

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