Sunday, June 22, 2014

Govt railroads 'steepest' 14% hike in passenger fares, 6.5% in freight rates

The increased passenger fares and freight rates will come into effect from June 25.
NEW DELHI: The Narendra Modi government on Friday administered the first bitter pill it prescribed with the railways announcing a sharp hike of 14.2% in passenger fares and 6.5% in freight tariffs — the steepest single-shot increases in recent memory and perhaps the highest ever. For commuters of suburban trains, the hike is still sharper — in certain cases the price of season tickets has been doubled.

The government justified the massive fare hike on two grounds. One, the hike was absolutely necessary in order to bring the cash-strapped national transporter back on track, and second, the decision was actually taken by the UPA government on February 10, and left for the new government to implement. The opposition predictably cried foul.

Apart from calling the increase "back-breaking" for the people, it questioned why the fare increase wasn't announced in the railway budget that's just a couple of weeks away.


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