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Budget merger can't hide rot in Railway finances

Railways' increased dependence on govt for its capital outlay has put the Union budget under stress

Bhupesh Bhandari 

Bhupesh Bhandari Its annual budget, followed extensively over decades for announcements of new train services, may have folded into the Union budget, but that couldn’t hide the rot in the Railways’ finances. It could be seen in the operating ratio (the extent to which total working expenses are covered by the gross traffic revenue) which deteriorated from 90.5 per cent in 2015-16 to 94.9 per cent in 2016-17 (revised estimates) and is projected to improve marginally to 94.6 per cent in 2017-18. The situation could have been worse but for some accounting jugglery. In 2017-18, as the budgetary ...

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