No hike in freight rates, charges rationalised
The Railways have revised upwards the target for originating revenue earning freight traffic to 515 million tonne in the revised estimates for 2002-03, five million tonne more than the original target.
Presenting the Budget for 2003-04, Railway Minister Nitish Kumar said the performance during the first 10 months of the current fiscal has exceeded the proportionate target.
On the other hand, in the passenger segment, there has been a drop of nearly three per cent in number of passengers till December 2002.
Taken together, the other coaching and sundry earnings are likely to be Rs 24 crore below the budget target. Due to continued increase in the amount owed to Railways by the users, particularly electricity boards, the unrealised earnings are likely to increase by Rs.417 crore as against a budgeted clearance of Rs.50 crore.
Therefore, the budgeted gross traffic receipts of Rs 41, 538 crore have been reduced to Rs 40, 867 crore in the revised estimates. Kumar said with sustained monitoring and continued austerity, there is likely to be a reduction of Rs 850 crore in the ordinary working expenses.
Accordingly, the revised estimates for these are placed at Rs 30,310 crore as against Rs 31,160 crore in the budget estimates. Besides discharging fully the dividend liability for the year, an amount of Rs 50 crore is also proposed to be cleared from the Deferred Dividend Liability Account.
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