Prabhu’s second railway budget came perhaps at the most difficult times for the Indian Railways with the national transporter missing its targets for traffic earnings, while facing an additional burden of Rs 28,450 crore.
The finance ministry on Thursday cancelled a meeting scheduled between Arun Jaitley and his team with economists due to “pressing engagements” of the minister. It was to be on Saturday, two days ahead of the Budget on Monday, something never done before.
Five major states are going to polls by April-May and the fare hike may happen post this. One should expect the politically difficult decision to be taken during the year to meet the revenue target, rating agency India Ratings said.
NFIR reports that Bonus Act has been amended w.e.f. 01.10.4.2014 for calculation of Bonus rates to Rs. 7000/- p.m. However, the Railway Minster did not make any announcement for making payment of PL Bonus to Railway employees
Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu made no changes either in passenger fares or freight rates while presenting his second Rail Budget in Parliament today.
Presenting his second Rail Budget in Parliament on Thursday, Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu said that the government’s core objective is to improve customer experience and generate jobs.
For Railways Minister Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu, the Budget for 2016-17 on Thursday could well prove his toughest hour. Expectations of a turnaround in the railways’ bread winning freight business have not been met and higher salaries to staff will disrupt expenditure statistics.
It said increasing passenger fares will reduce the “drastic losses” incurred by the Indian Railways on passenger traffic at present. “Passenger losses (including suburban and non-suburban) have grown from 72 per cent of social obligation cost borne by the Railways in FY 1975 to 95 per cent in FY 2014.
Unfortunately, the performance of railways has not kept pace with what has been planned. The total earnings – freight and passengers – have dropped dismally, the total gap is about Rs. 17,000 crore.
Under the rule of BJP-led NDA government, the Railways increased the passenger fares by 14 percent in 2014 and by 10 percent in 2015.