Sandeep Joshi

NEW DELHI: Railway Minister Lalu Prasad has said the Railways would not hike passenger fares or freight charges despite the hike in fuel prices. In fact, the Railways were examining the possibility of reducing freight charges to attract more traffic, he added.

“In the wake of the recent diesel price hike, Indian Railways will not pass additional financial burden on its users — both passengers and freight customers,” the Minister said in a statement.

The Railways consume 227 crore litres of diesel every year and a price increase of Rs.3 a litre would cost the organisation an additional Rs.681 crore.

During the remaining 10 months of the current fiscal, the Railways would have to spend an additional Rs.560 crore. In the current fiscal, the fuel bill would increase to over Rs.8,500 crore.

According to Mr. Prasad, the Railways have decided to absorb the diesel price hike by improving productivity, efficiency and volumes.