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Steep Hike in Rail Fares, Freight

Steep Hike in Rail Fares, Freight
Highlights

New Delhi: Steep Hike in Rail Fares, Freight, After riding to power on the promise of good times, the Modi Government steeply hiked the railway fare across-the-board by 14.2 per cent and the freight charges by 6.5 per cent.

  • Passenger fare hiked by 14.2% and freight charges go up by 6.5%
  • Move to fetch `8,000 cr, to be effective from June 25
  • Fares apply to tickets already issued for journeys on or after June 25
  • Harsh decision ahead of Railway Budget in July 2nd week
  • Modi had warned of tough steps to revive sagging economy


New Delhi: After riding to power on the promise of good times, the Modi Government steeply hiked the railway fare across-the-board by 14.2 per cent and the freight charges by 6.5 per cent.

The move is expected to net Rs 8,000 crore. Railway Minister D V Sadanand Gowda said that the new tariffs would come into effect from June 25. The steep hikes in the fares and freight charges comes just days ahead of the Railway Budget that is expected to be presented in the second week of July.

Defending the move, Railway Minister D V Sadanand Gowda said that the decision on the hikes was taken on May 16 by his predecessor M Mallikarjun Kharge, but it was put on hold and the decision on the hike was left to the new government. “I have only withdrawn the earlier order of putting it on hold,” was all the defence of Railway Minister Sadanand Gowda.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi prepared the ground recently when he addressed party workers in Goa, saying tough decisions were required to be taken and the Government would take the steps.

There will be no increase in fares up to minimum distance. Revised fares will also apply to tickets issued in advance for journeys to commence on or after June 25. In the case of tickets already issued at pre-revised rates, the difference in fares and other charges on or after June 25 will be recovered either by TTEs on the trains or by the booking/reservation offices before the commencement of journey by passengers.

There will also be no change in charges for reservation fee, superfast surcharge etc. The opposition slammed the Modi Government, for what it described as the anti-people move. It was brought behind Parliament and ahead of the Railway Budget.

RJD leader and former Railway Minister Lalu Yadav, who left train fares untouched during his entire tenure from 2004-2009, and did bring a turnaround, said Prime Minister Modi came to power by selling dreams of acche din or good times. “The BJP has fired its first salvo at the poor people of this country. This has never happened in the history of the country.

Whenever the BJP comes to power, it tries and get a few people all the advantage,” Lalu Yadav said, demanding a rollback.
AICC communications wing chairman Ajay Maken said, “The BJP has rewarded the people, who voted for it, this way. The Congress condemns this move.”
Trinamool Congress leader and former Railway Minister Mukul Roy said, “The hike is anti-people. The Railways have social obligations. The hike will hit the common people. We criticise the way the fare hike was announced, bypassing Parliament.”

Congress leader Manish Tiwari said it was ironic that the same people, who opposed the previous government for any important economic decision on grounds of burdening common people, have resorted to this move and in this manner.

The CPM politburo stated, “This is a cruel blow to the working people who have been victims of relentless price hikes in the years of Congress misrule. Instead of bringing them some relief as promised in his election campaign, the Modi Government has put a huge burden on the mass of people who use the Indian railways.
The increase in freight rates will have a cascading impact on prices of essential commodities which are transported by rail across the country.”

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