'Railways need consolidation more, expansion less'

Dinesh Trivedi is all set to present the Railway Budget in Parliament at 12 pm today. He said that the Railway Budget is going to be good for the common man and that it is an important part of infrastructure. "The Rail Budget will make sure that Indian Railways shines like gold."

 Railways need consolidation more, expansion less


While everyone is waiting to see if Trivedi will hike passenger fares which can help the government garner an additional Rs 3,000 crore in a year, Railway board chairman Vinay Mittal feels a hike in passenger fares will only bolster the railways finances to a limited extent and that the urgent need is to consolidate rather than expand.

"We are also looking at models of PPP. But it's a vicious cycle. If I want to increase my freight traffic or passenger traffic, I need to upgrade," he said in an interview with CNBC-TV18.

Railway officials say that the majority of the losses on passenger fares, comes from the unreserved class in trains and about Rs 8,000 crore came from the reserved classes in which sleeper classes account for Rs 6,000 crore. And those costs can only rise with each year as operational and fuel costs rise.

For the Railways, which is expected to garner about Rs 70,000 crore from freight earnings in the current fiscal, this hike would mean a potential to increase annual earnings by up to Rs 18,000 crore.

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Updated Date: Dec 20, 2014 08:59:34 IST