The diesel price hike has put an additional yearly burden of around Rs 1,200 crores on the cash-strapped Railways but there is no move yet to increase freight charges, a rail official said today.
“There is no move as yet to increase freight charges even if it (diesel price hike) hits us hard,” said a senior Railway Ministry Official. The Railways portfolio is held by Mukul Roy of Trinamool Congress.
Railways consume about 250 crore litres of diesel per annum to run its fleet of around 4,500 diesel locomotives, hauling both freight and passenger trains.
The national transporter paid about Rs 10,000 crore during the last fiscal towards its fuel bill, which rose every year due to addition of new services and more freight haulage.
The hike is going to cost Railways about Rs 1,250 crore in a year, an official said. “Since nearly six months have already passed in 2012-13, the additional cost of the fuel bill will be around Rs 100 cr per month this fiscal” the official added.
The three oil PSUs, Indian Oil, HPCL and BPCL, supply fuel providing a subsidy of 30 paisa per litre as Railways is a bulk consumer of diesel.
“We get 80 per cent of our supply from IOC and rest from other two oil majors,” he said.
The hike comes at a time when Railways is facing an acute financial crunch. It has sought Rs 4,500 crore as additional budgetary support from Planning Commission to fund its ongoing projects.
Railways had already carried out a 20 per cent hike in freight rates before the Rail Budget this year.