Roy to roll back fare, seek fee waiver today
Besides announcing the expected rollback in passenger fares for sleeper and general categories, railway minister Mukul Roy is likely to make a strong case for the waiver of the annual dividend paid by the Railways towards loans of the Centre, on Thursday.delhi Updated: Mar 22, 2012 01:25 IST
Besides announcing the expected rollback in passenger fares for sleeper and general categories, railway minister Mukul Roy is likely to make a strong case for the waiver of the annual dividend paid by the Railways towards loans of the Centre, on Thursday.
The waiver of the 5% dividend against the union government's gross budgetary support will enable the Railways to offset the cost of the rollback in passenger fares (estimated at around Rs 5,000 crore).
The budgetary proposal to hike fares was estimated to generate additional revenue of around Rs 6,500 crore — the bulk of which was expected to come from non-AC categories. After the rollback in fares, the Railways can — at best — expect to generate an additional revenue of Rs 1,000 crore, officials said.
At a meeting with representatives of five railway unions at Parliament House on Wednesday, Roy is understood to have handed out the assurance he would raise additional funds to compensate for the shortfall in next year’s plan outlay.
Each year, the Railways incurs a loss of nearly Rs 25,000 crore on account of subsidised passenger fares. “Compensating for the shortfall in the plan outlay, caused because of the rollback in passenger fares, is of critical importance. The new railway minister promised to do everything possible to save it,” said Jitendra Singh of the Railway Promotee Officers Association.
“The Railways is on the verge of collapse. Employees have not been paid TA, DA, overtime and night duty allowances for some months. We will take up an agitation if the shortfall is not compensated for,” said US Jha of the Railway Protection Force Association.
Meanwhile, Trinamool Congress MP Kalyan Banerjee has demanded a rollback in passenger fare for the AC-III category as well.
Referring to former railway minister Dinesh Trivedi, Banerjee said people who imposed more taxes were considered as “intellectuals” these days.