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In 2014-15, the Railways’ total passenger revenues went up 18 per cent to Rs 43,002 crore, while passenger volumes saw a marginal drop of one per cent to 8,350 million passengers.
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The total passenger count for 2014-15 also missed the previous budgetary estimates of 8,645 million for the year by three per cent. For 2015-16, the government expects total passenger revenues to rise 17 per cent to Rs 50,175 crore, and volumes to increase a modest three per cent to 8,601 million passengers.
Rail fare hikes have come at a time when diesel fuel prices have fallen almost 20 per cent in the past year, but the government is yet to pass on the benefits to the passenger. As reported by Business Standard on December 18, 2014, the government is raking in the benefit of lower diesel prices by not revising the fuel adjustment component (FAC) of passenger fares and freight rates. The FAC was slated to be reviewed this month along with the Budget announcements.