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Tuesday, June 18, 2024

India’s rail budget raises fares & focuses on safety

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Indian Railways plans to increase fares across its network, said Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi yesterday as he presented the budget for 2012-13.

The Minister also said the top priority for Indian Railways would be safety, along with faster trains and ‘better hygiene’.

Fares ‘across the board’ will rise from Rs. 0.02 to Rs. 0.30 per kilometer whilst a minimum platform ticket to will rise to Rs. 5.

The Minister blamed the increase in passenger and freight rates on rising fuel prices.

He said that 75 new express trains will be introduced onto the network, along with 21 suburban passenger trains.

He also revealed plans to borrow $3.33 billion from the market in a bid to modernise the network.

“Within the constraints of funds, the annual plan outlay for 2012-13 has been targeted at Rs. 60,100 crore which is the highest ever plan investment,” Trivedi said.

“The plan would be financed through gross budgetary support of Rs.24,000 crore, railway safety fund of Rs. 2,000 crore, internal resource generation of Rs.18,050 crore and an extra budgetary resource of Rs. 16,050 crore which includes market borrowing of Rs. 15,000 crore.”

The Minister listed other focus areas in the next five years: consolidation, decongestion and capacity augmentation of the network, modernisation and bringing down the operating ratio.

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