Common man braving the severe impact of price rise may soon face another blow in the form of higher freight and passenger fare if a proposal by the railway ministry is accepted.
The proposal to align the freight and passenger fare with market prices was made by the Railway Minister at the full Planning Commission meeting which was presided over by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
"The Railway Ministry proposed to have more dynamic freight and passenger fare aligned with market prices during the full Planning Commission meeting," a source privy to the development said. The proposal will help in generating resources needed for improving safety and quality of services.
This was among the various proposals suggested by various ministers during the meeting which approved the Approach Paper for the 12th Five Year Plan today. According to sources, Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi suggested that freight and passenger fares should be taken out of the Railway Budget so that they can be changed anytime during the course of the year.
The Planning Commission had earlier mooted the idea of setting up of a Railways Freight and Passenger Fare Authority to establish a more dynamic and market link structure. The proposal did not find favour with earlier Railway Ministers. Trivedi also said that Indian Railways need Rs 1.60 lakh crore for outstanding schemes for development of railways.