The Indian Railway is likely to announce a hike of 10 to 20 per cent in passengers’ fare this week. The railway is planning to increase the fare for all types of classes and trains including air-conditioning, none air-condition, general class and for monthly based railway pass, reports Dainik Bhaskar.
This increment in fare will add approx 5 to 40 paisa per km more for passengers. The railway board got the go-ahead for fare hike proposal from the Prime Minister’s Office last month. The announcement is likely to be made this week. However, the increased fare is supposed to come into effect from February 1 next year.
From several years now, the Indian Railway has not announced any hike in fares. The last fare hike of about 15 per cent was announced at the time of formation of a new government in the center in 2014. Indian Railways presently run at an average 43 per cent less fare than incurred fare cost.
The Indian Railways bear a loss of about 64% on the fare of all the urban trains, while the non-suburban train coaches face a loss of about 40%. In the class-wise estimation of Indian Railways loss, the first-class AC charges 24 per cent less than original fare and second AC bear about 27 per cent. Around 34 per cent loss from sleeper class and about 16 per cent from chair car contribute heavily to Indian Railways revenue shortfall.
As an unexpected slowdown has gripped Indian economy, the railways too have experienced a sharp decline in its revenues collection. A report suggests that Indian Railways faced a revenue shortfall of close to Rs 19,412 crores during April-October.
The railway board substantiates the fare hike decision, saying that railway has not increased fare in the recent past and the measures taken by railways like Flexi fare and changes in refund process have not served the purpose.