New Delhi: Despite facing an acute
financial crunch, Railways is planning to give Productivity
Linked Bonus (PLB) equivalent to 78 days wages to its 12 lakh
employees in the festive season.
A proposal to this effect is being finalised and will be
sent to the Union Cabinet for approval, railway sources said.
Last year, Railways had given 77-day bonus. Though there
are a total of 13.26 lakh railway employees, about 1.26 lakh
employees are not covered under the PLB.
"Railways will declare the bonus after getting Cabinet
approval," the sources said, adding "as per the plan under
consideration, an employee will get Rs 8,975 as bonus this
M Raghavaiah, General Secretary of National Federation
of Indian Railwaymen, said, "We had demanded 80 days bonus
this year because Railways have carried more loadings than
last year. Loadings have gone up from the 876 million tonnes
(MT) in 2010 to 924 MT till March 2011."
On the financial crunch facing railways, he said, "It is
true that Railways` financial position is not good. But its
employees should not be deprived of their due because of that.
We have suggested passenger fare hike to improve finances."
The working expenses of Railways have increased from Rs
41,033 crore in 2007-08 to Rs 73,650 crore in 2011-12. The
pension outgo during the same period has also increased from
Rs 7953 crore to Rs 16,000 crore.
The implementation of Sixth Pay Commission has also
impacted Railways which had to pay an additional amount of
Rs 73,000 crore on account of staff and pension payment
The increase in prices of fuel and electricity have also
adversely affected the finances of railways. The fuel cost
touched Rs 1001 crore in the 2010-11 fiscal and it stood at Rs
559.72 crore till date in the current fiscal.