Indian Railways (IR) have managed to achieve more than 99% of its estimated revenue target in FY15 albeit a declining passenger traffic onboard thanks to a 14.2% hike...
Indian Railways (IR) have managed to achieve more than 99% of its estimated revenue target in FY15 albeit a declining passenger traffic onboard thanks to a 14.2% hike in passenger fares and higher than estimated freight revenue.
Total earnings grew by 12.2% to R1,57,881 crore from R1,40,761 crore in FY14. Its freight revenue went up to R1,07,075 crore, beating the revised estimates (RE) by R148 crore.
In FY15, the earning in the passenger segment has grown by some 14.4% to R42,866 crore compared to R37,478 crore the year before. Though IR’s passenger traffic has declined by 2.34% to 822.8 crore in FY15, it managed to achieve its revenue target in that segment — mainly helped by the increase in fares last June. Railways carried some 842.5 crore people in 2013-14.
Earlier in the FY14 budget, IR revised its fare rates for passengers and freight traffic. Apart from increasing its passenger fares, railways hiked the freight rates, on an average, by 6.5%.
Declining growth of passenger traffic in the Indian Railways is an issue the transporter is struggling to address for the past few years. Since FY13, the passenger segment has witnessed stagnation in traffic growth. While in FY14 passenger traffic remained flat compared to FY13, in 2014-15 it declined — first time in at least a decade.
Keeping the trend in mind, the railways revised its target for passenger traffic for FY15 to 835 crore from 864.5 crore estimated in the budget.
Recent reports by various expert committees have pointed out that the trend of declining share for railways of total passenger traffic in the country. While in 1951, IR’s share in the total passenger traffic was more than 74%, in 2011-12, it went down to 10%. Inadequate passenger amenities and IR’s failure in providing additional services to its customers during the journey have led people choose other options, they said.
Since taking charge, railway minister Suresh Prabhu has expressed his concerns regarding IR’s outdated services and lack of passenger amenities and has stressed on the need for modenisation and consolidation.
Revenue from freights, however, have grown by some 13% in FY15 — maintaining its two-third share in railways’ total earnings.