India Railway Budget 2008-09

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India railway budget 2008-09, is expected to let the existing fares reign. Fares will not change. Several projects will be taken to completion. A good amount of money will be invested in railway projects and plans. The write up below gives a glimpse of the expected changes, which may set in as a result of the budget.

Reports reveal that for the period 2006-2007, the railways made a profit of 20,000 crore. Expectations from India Railway budget 2008-09 are that additional surcharge as well as fares may be unchanged. Several construction tasks undertaken by the Railway Ministry may be taken to completion.

Plans are, establishment of a public-private partnership venture would be taken up to compensate for the loss suffered by railways. To make this happen, the government would be acquiring land for the same. It is also expected that as much as ` 25,000 crores would be invested in this sector for the improvement of the "freight corridor", which would lead to the regulation of the speed of trains.

With regard to rail fares, as mentioned above they may not change. At one point of time, there were whispers that fares may go down but probably this will not happen owing to the high cost of fuels. During the period 2007-2008, the Railway Minister had shed fares of:
  • Ordinary passenger trains, which were "non suburban".
  • "Non super fast trains".
However, the reduction was only by Re.1. In the case of AC as well as Sleeper classes, the fares reduced ranged between 2%-8%.

It may be recalled that during the period 2006-2007, passenger revenue(earned) amounted to ` 17,400 crore. This accounted for 27.6% of yearly gross traffic revenue pertaining to the railways. During the same year, earnings from passengers increased only by 14%. This decline in earnings can be attributed to less number of bookings especially in the upper classes because of the off season. Expectations from India Railway budget 2008-09 are that the operating ratio will be maintained at 78.7%.

India Railway budget 2008-09, aims at satisfying the passengers by not escalating the fares but keeping them relatively low.

India Railway Budget 2009-10

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