Lalu eases haulage rates
Railway Minister Lalu Prasad on Thursday announced several cargo haulage rate concessions, including suspension of the 10 per cent surcharge on loading of bulk items like cement and fertilisers and freezing of the existing 30 per cent empty flow direction discount till 2010.
The announcements were made by him at an interaction with industry representatives at the first meeting of the railway-industry interactive committee held here.
Speaking to mediapersons later, Prasad hinted at the possibility of further rationalisation of haulage rates later this month after considering the suggestions put forth by industry.
He urged the cement, steel and other industries to sign long-term agreements of between 5 and 30 years with the railways. The Minister gave an assurance that even during peak season, clients with long-term agreements would have an assured supply of wagons.
Prasad was confident that the railways’ share in transportation of steel and cement would reach 200 million tonnes each by 2011-12.
The railways have set a target of hauling 1,150 million tonnes of cargo by then, up from 726 million tonnes in 2006-07.