Millennium Post

Rail ministry may review fare hike

Rail ministry may review fare hike
Amid nationwide protests against the locomotive fare hike, the railway ministry on Saturday promised to review its decision if the price of oil came down. Ministry officials said the 14.2 per cent hike in passenger fare and 6.5 per cent hike in freight rates, which was announced on Friday, is inclusive of the Fuel Adjustment Component (FAC). ‘If the oil price comes down in the near future, the ministry will review the price hike,’ he said.

When asked whether there will be a complete roll back, he said, ‘A complete roll back would be difficult considering huge loss to the railways and its pending projects due to scarcity of funds. But yes, there will be some reduction in the fare, depending on the oil price.’ Later, the ministry issued a statement, which reads, ‘Under the passenger fare hike, a flat 10 per cent increase has been done in all the classes and an additional 4.2 per cent increase under fuel adjustment component linked revision scheme.’ It further reads, the hike has been done as part of the interim budget presented by the previous government.

While speaking to the media persons, railways minister DV Sadananda Gowda said, ‘I have implemented the order of the previous government related to fare hike. I would like to reveal that meeting the annual expenditure of railways would not be possible unless the revised rates as finalised by the previous government are implemented.’

‘The fare hike decision was taken by the previous government,’ he added. The hiked fare will be effective from 25 June, which will be first major hike in the railway fares in recent years. Even the UPA government did not dare to increase the fare fearing mass protest and strong objection from its partners. Earlier, in 2012, All India Trinamool Congress (AITC), one of the allies of the UPA, lambasted its own leader and the then railway minister Dinesh Trivedi for increasing the rail fare. He was forced by the party supremo Mamata Banerjee to step down from the post of railway minister.
It was learnt that PM Narendra Modi had a meeting with the rail minister and railways board chairman Arunendra Kumar to discuss the price hike, as suggested by the previous government.Turn to PG4
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