It is expected to be a tightrope walk for Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee, who has emphasised on giving a "human face" to Indian Railway, as she hopes to introduce populist measures in the budget amid the impact of Sixth Pay Commission and the economic slowdown.
Banerjee aspires to make rail travel cheaper for passengers but may find it difficult to generate revenues from other sources.
There has already been a steep drop in freight earnings in the first two months of the current fiscal and she might have to announce incentives to achieve the loading target of 920 MT. That makes her job of generating revenues for Railways all the more difficult.
Railways have been further impacted by the Sixth Pay Commission recommendation.
Sources in the ministry said "the three per cent growth in freight earning the Railway achieved during the first two months this fiscal is far less than the over eight per cent growth it registered in previous years for the same period."