Railways weighs freight rate cut as volumes slip
Railway board chairman Vinay Mittal had recently attributed the cuts in Plan outlays over the last couple of years to missing freight targets.
The railways estimated to earn R89,339 crore from carrying goods in 2012-13, but till December 31, it could garner only R62,413 crore.
“The Allahabad route would be closed for two months due to the ongoing Kumbh. It is unlikely that we would reach anywhere near targets from freight,” a railway official said.
“During July to September this year, Railways lost earnings potential of Rs 600 crore as several goods trains were idle. In September, 208 rakes were idle almost everyday, causing a loss of 4 mt of freight loading,” the official said.
The recent passenger fare hike would earn railways somewhere between Rs 6,000 crore and Rs 7,000 crore extra in a full year. The proposed freight cut will reduce passenger to freight ratio further which at present is 0.26:1, way below 1.4:1 for Korea, 1.3:1 for France and 1.2:1 for China. Rail freight rates in India are already high in comparison to China and the US.
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