Addressing the Rajya Sabha, Union Railways Minister Piyush Goyal said, Railways suffered Rs 1,462 crore loss in terms of freight revenue during this year due to various agitations and strikes including dharnas at platforms near railway tracks.
This is supposedly the highest loss in terms of freight revenue in the past six year.
According to railway ministry data, the loss of freight revenue for similar reason in 2015-16 was Rs 633 crore and in 2028-19 it was Rs 912 crore.
Although the Railways has suffered a hefty loss, it has taken many steps during the pandemic to make a strong comeback.
Many concessions and discounts have been offered by the Indian Railways with an aim to increase its freight business. To attract new business and incentivise other existing clients, Ministry of Railways has held meetings with the top leadership of iron & steel, cement, power, coal, automobiles and logistics service providers. And has set up Business Development Units at Zonal & Divisional levels and worked on doubling of freight speed.
With all these efforts, railways has gradually moulded the crisis into an ocean of opportunities. As a result of which recovery in freight movement has been observed. As per data issued by government earlier this week, earnings from freight grew 5.9% from a year earlier in January to ₹11,838.36 crore.
Furthermore, in the current financial year, despite pandemic, Railways have achieved record freight loading in the last 5 months i.e., September 2020 to January 2021.