Railway passenger traffic earnings have grown by 12 per cent in this fiscal till December and has been revised by 3 per cent from the earlier target at Rs 22,330 crore.
While airlines in the country had made a valiant attempt to wean away passengers from the Indian Railways after the advent of low cost carriers but their attempts failed to yield results.
In his budget speech Prasad announced a further two per cent fare cut in all air-conditioned classes and said, “Even as air travel is reportedly reflecting reduction in number of passengers due to economic recession, there has been a significant increase in the number of passengers of these classes (AC-I and ACII) in the Railways.”
For 2009-10 passenger traffic earnings are estimated at Rs 25,000 crore, a 12 per cent growth over the revised estimates of 2008-09. Gross traffic earnings projection has been increased by 13 per cent at Rs 93,159 crores in 2009-10 exceeding the revised estimates for the current year by Rs 10,766 crores.