Mukul Roy announces partial rollback in rail fare hike

Mukul Roy announces partial rollback in rail fare hike

Last Updated: Friday, March 23, 2012, 09:19
Comments 25  
Mukul Roy announces partial rollback in rail fare hike New Delhi: The controversial hike in rail passenger fares was on Thursday rolled back for all classes except AC 2 Tier and First Class by the new Railway Minister Mukul Roy, overturning the decision of his predecessor Dinesh Trivedi, who lost his job on account of his bold proposals.

Mukul Roy, who was inducted into the Union Cabinet and the Railway Ministry on Tuesday, announced in the Lok Sabha the roll back of the fare increase for second class suburban and non-suburban, Sleeper, AC Chair Car and AC 3-tier, dubbing it as a "huge drain" on the pocket of masses.

He, however, left untouched the increase of 15 paise per km and 30 paise per km respectively in passenger fares in AC 2-tier and AC-I announced by Trivedi in the Railway Budget only last week.

The Minister did not give the financial implications of the roll back decision.

In his budget, Trivedi had assumed an income of Rs. 4,000 crore on account of the hike but today's reversal of the decision could result in a loss of Rs.3,000 crore, officials said.

Trivedi's decision to hike rail fares was the first in eight years since the UPA came to power.

Neither Trivedi nor Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who had praised his budget, was present in the House. UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi appeared to be grim as members thumped the desk at the roll back decision.

Replying to the debate on the Budget, Roy also put on hold Trivedi's proposal of setting up a committee to examine whether there should be an independent tariff regulatory authority and scrapped a move to expand the Railway Board.

Roy said the proposal to increase fare by 2 paise per km, 3 paise per km and 5 paise per km in second class suburban and non-suburban and Sleeper class is a huge drain on the pocket of the masses.

"Similarly, increase in the fare of AC Chair Car and AC 3-tier, which is now patronised by the middle class, is also quite severe.

"I intend to give relief to the already over-burdened common man by not effecting any increase in these classes," he said.

Trivedi had proposed 10 paise per km each for AC Chair Car and AC 3-tier.

Referring to the rollback of hike in train fares announced earlier, Roy said "many members have expressed anguish over the proposal to hike passenger fares that would impact the aam aadmi."

"The concern of the common man is over-riding, even if it means biting the bullet of a different kind, the impact of the fare hike on the aam aadmi is huge," he said.

After Roy's 20-minute speech, the House passed the Vote on Account and the relevant Appropriation Bills, as well as a resolution to adopt recommendations of the second report of the Railway Convention Committee by voice vote.

He said the Railways would launch an "aggressive drive to mop up resources from non-conventional sources" like public-private partnership (PPP) projects would be carried out on a fast-track.

Advertising as a source of revenue was not being fully explored, he said, adding that there would be "a focused approach" on using the vacant land and airspace with the railways to raise resources.

First Published: Thursday, March 22, 2012, 10:44
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 Your comment(s) on this article
There is no logic to handle the issue in so relaxed manner by changing the minister overnight
First of all if mukul roy is a good person he should not have accepted didi`s offer of this ministry
Natarajan - Mumbai
The Roll back of the projected hike in the Rail Fair of Second Class , Sleeper Class , AC 3 Tier Sleeper Class is really a big relief for the Common Man As the Common man feels relaxed and relived from extra burden during his summer vacations journey
Increase in fare with better quality and comform is more nessary even for disadvantaged persons as distances in India are huge
M. Lal - Fiji
Common people will not harash due to these little bit changes dere r so many things where Railway minister should concentrate that are - waiting list, more railway line, security, facilities cleanliness
Aur ye jo news he o sirf Mamata ka stunt he
Ajay - Pune
Within a decade, the government will have to rollback railways because they will run out of money! Oh no wait, babus will increase taxes or may be reduce the defense budget and funds for health & education These guys are not morons but this is what India gets when you have a coalition government India needs one party at the center
v - chicago
Honestly Railway ministry is in wrong handsMamta is just fooling the public Give this ministry to congress
vijay - new zealand
aditya - kasyap
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