Compounding the woes of railways, total earnings from goods and passengers fell by over 11 per cent from the target in September this year as against the last year for the same period, causing concern in the rail administration. Railways have earned Rs 12,413.96 crore in September this year as against the target of Rs 13,961.91 crore for the month, a decrease of 11.09 per cent. The total earnings from goods in September was Rs 7,719.52 crore as against the target of Rs 8,564.27 crore, a decline of 9.86 per cent, according to Railway Ministry data. In passenger segment also the earnings are way behind the target as railways earned Rs 3,815.43 crore as against the target of Rs 4,253.71 cr, a decrease of 10.30 per cent. Passenger bookings were also fell short of target with total 683.17 million passengers booked in September as against the target of 686.61 million. Railways has recently rationalised the freight rate to attract more loadings and introduced flexi-fare system in premier service including Rajdhani, Shatabdi and Duronto trains to shore up revenue collection.
Admitting decline in revenue collection, a senior Railway Ministry official said, “There is a general decline in demand and it is a cause of concern. Several steps are being initiated to perk up the earnings.” Railways has announced many ambitious projects including massive expansion and modernisation of rail network and the shortfall in earnings could cause problem in its future plan. However, the official said railways expect the volume of loadings to increase in coming months with the rationalisation of freight rate.