No increase in rail fare or freight, says Mamata | delhi | Hindustan Times
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No increase in rail fare or freight, says Mamata

Passenger fares and freight charges will not be raised during the fiscal as it could aggravate the price situation, Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee told the Lok Sabha on Tuesday

delhi Updated: Dec 15, 2009 21:02 IST

Passenger fares and freight charges will not be raised during the fiscal as it could aggravate the price situation, Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee told the Lok Sabha on Tuesday.

In order to clear extra rush on account of vacations and festivals, 35,000 special trains will be run -- 10,000 more than in 2008-09, she said winding up the debate on the supplementary demands for grants.

Banerjee said she would soon come out with a document (white paper) on the health of the Railways with a view to improve its efficiency.

It would not target any individual, she said without naming former Railway Minister Lalu Yadav.

The Lok Sabha later passed the supplementary demands by voice vote allowing the Railways to raise expenditure during the fiscal by an additional Rs 731 crore.

"We will not raise passenger fare or freight charges as it would further increase commodity prices," she said, adding the Railways would try to meet additional expenditure by austerity measures and commercial activities.

From austerity drive alone the Railways would save Rs 1,500 crore during the fiscal, she said, pointing out that implementation of the 6th Pay Commission has imposed significant burden on the Railways.

The food inflation in November has risen by 20 per cent, the highest recorded in a decade.