Railway minister Pawan Bansal on Wednesday announced a hike in passenger fares from January 21
Bansal declared a hike in fares of second class and AC class travel. He said that it had become imperative as there would be no fresh hike in the rail budget.
He said that second class ordinary suburban fares would go up by 2 paise per km and non suburban by 3 paise per km.
Second class mail express train fares will go up by 4 paise per km and sleeper class by 6 paise per km.
The hike would result into an incremental earning of Rs6,600 crore including Rs1,000 crore on AC class hike alone, he said.
The minister was non-committal on freight tariff hike. According to a railway ministry source, there is likely to be a 'nominal' hike in the passenger fares across classes, among other measures for modernisation.
The ministry is also in the process of setting up separate an independent authority for deciding fares.
A highly place ministry sources told DNA, "The fares have not been revised for over a decade. It will become difficult if the fares are not rationalised now. But whatever will be done will be done keeping the common man in mind."
As per the ministry officialdom, the ministry has got a go-ahead on the passenger fare front from the PMO and the Planning Commission. Officials contend that unless there is an increased revenue for railways, plans such as world-class railway stations, bullet trains and passenger safety measures will not see the light of the day. An expert panel headed by Sam Petroda had also earlier recommended fare hike.