You are here: Home » Budget » Railway Budget » Top Stories
Business Standard

Cut in passenger fares unlikely in rail budget, hints Prabhu

'We recover only 50 percent of the passenger cost from the fares, in which there is already a huge element of subsidy'

IANS  |  Bengaluru 

Suresh Prabhu
Suresh Prabhu

Reduction in passenger fares is unlikely in the ensuing railway for 2015-16 despite sharp fall in diesel price, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu hinted Thursday.

"We recover only 50 percent of the passenger cost from the fares, in which there is already a huge element of subsidy, benefitting them (passengers)," Prabhu told reporters on the margins of a railway function here.
Read our full coverage on Union Budget

Prabhu will present his maiden railway next month.

With the international crude prices falling by over 50 percent since June last year, the state-run oil marketing firms had cumulatively reduced diesel price by Rs.10-11 in six cuts since October, benefitting bulk consumers like the railways, which use diesel to power its locomotive engines.

As the cash-strapped railways bear 50 percent of the subsidy on fares, Prabhu hinted that passing on the benefit of lower diesel price to passengers was unlikely due to resource constraints.

Noting that there was a misconception about high-speed trains in the country, the minister said the railways was focusing on increasing the average speed of all passenger and freight trains.

"We are making efforts to redefine high-speed trains because express trains have too many stops enroute, resulting in their average speed coming down," Prabhu said after flagging off four new trains from Bengaluru to Katra in Jammu and Kashmir, Patna, Tatanagar in Jharkhand and Kamakhya in Assam at the city station.

Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Thu, January 29 2015. 22:02 IST