Rail Budget 2013-14: No passenger fare hike, but Pawan Kumar Bansal imposes other ticket charges
Tatkal charges will go up by Rs 15 on sleeper class to Rs 100 on Executive Class. Clerkage and cancellation charges will go up by Rs 5 on second class to Rs 50 on Executive Class.
The Budget proposes to withdraw the enhanced reservation fee and proposes no increase in parcel and luggage rates. The changes will come into effect from April 1.
Bansal said last month's decision to deregulate diesel prices has eaten away half of the Rs 6,600 crore gains to be netted by last month's passenger fare hike.
"As regards passenger fares, since these were revised only in January this year, I do not intend to pass on the additional burden to them now and the railways will absorb the impact of Rs 850 crore on this account," Bansal said in his Budget speech.
He told a post-Budget press conference that he was no apologetic about the hike in freight rates and passenger charges.
While Bansal said the average freight rate revision will be 5 per cent, Railway Board Chairman Vinay Mittal said it will be between 4.5 and 4.6 per cent. But the Budget documents show the increase to be an average of 5.8 per cent.
Mittal said the freight increase would neutralise the additional expenditure on account of fuel cost and is not going to result in additional earnings to the kitty.
Opposition parties attacked the Budget proposals as inflationary and a burden on the common man while Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Cabinet colleagues hailed it as
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