In an effort to boost freight earnings, the Ministry of Railways has taken one more step in this direction by giving Zonal Railways a free hand to give concessions on freight charges for a limited distance. Railways would give concession on freight charges for the freight booked for up to a distance of 100 km, according to the new move.
This decision was taken by the ministry and was put to force from 01.07.2020 to 30.06.2021, for the movement of all traffic except Iron Ore, coal and coke, steel, military traffic, rail material consignments, and container traffic.
The matter was reviewed by the Railway Board recently and the board has decided that the period of validity can be extended by Zonal Railways. "But this extension will be based on the condition that the Zonal Railway has to enter into a long term agreement, not exceeding 10 years with the customer for granting Short Lead concessions," said the official statement.
Further to this, the agreement shall also have a clause of enhanced loading commitment that has to be supported with Bank Guarantee.
In this new decision, Railways said that depending upon the commitment, Zonal Railway may decide on the percentage of concession.
The Ministry has made clear that the responsibility will entirely lie upon the Zonal Railways to evaluate the fulfillment of traffic committed and revenue projections annually and realize the unmet revenue from the customer or from Bank Guarantee at the end of the year.
During Unlock 3.0, Indian Railways revised Freight Policy to boost its freight traffic, giving more relaxations to customers.
The revised Freight Policy measures of Indian Railways are:
Alternate Goods shed Policy: Terminal Charge shall not be levied on traffic booked from alternate goods sheds, instead of identified busy goods shed.
Free time relaxation for covered wagons: Zonal Railways are empowered to relax the free time up to double of normal free time and/or non-levy of demurrage/wharfage in case of covered stock during lean season i.e. up to 30.09.2020.
Permission to accept road weighbridge weighment to certain goods sheds of South Central Railway for loading of Granite- all documents and data to be captured in the system.
A discount of 5% on haulage charge per twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) rates is given on loaded containers from 04.08.2020 to 30.04.2021.
Piecemeal traffic aggregation under Traditional Empty Flow Direction: Lower limit relaxed to 10 wagons under empty flow streams to target piecemeal traffic in covered wagons like (BCN and BCNHL).
Industrial Salt: Classification has been lowered from class 120 to class 100A and loading is allowed in bulk/ loose in open wagons, so as to re-capture and gain additional traffic.
Two-point loading in an automobile: Operational flexibility given to the automobile sector with two-point loading.
Concession to loose/bulk Fly ash: A concession of 40% is given for loading in open wagons covered with Tarpaulin.
Stabling Charge on container traffic: Not to be levied on container traffic from 18.05.2020 to 31.10.2020.
Terminal Access Charge Concession @50% has been granted on container traffic handled at Group-III Container Rail Terminals.