Indian Railways’ earnings jumped 12.2 per cent to Rs 1,57,880 crore in 2014-15, against Rs 1,40,761 crore in the year-ago period, the railway ministry said on Wednesday.
Freight earnings, which account for 66 per cent of the total earnings, grew 12.7 per cent from the year-ago period to Rs 1,07,074 crore in 2014-15. This was despite a mere 4.7 per cent increase in freight volumes at 1,101 million tonnes.
The rail ministry had raised freight rates by 5.8 per cent in April 2013, 1.7 per cent in October 2013 and 6.5 per cent in June 2014. Also, a congestion surcharge of 10 per cent is being levied on all goods traffic, including containers originating from ports, since November 2014.
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu had raised freight rates by three per cent across commodities in the 2015-16 rail budget.
Earnings from the passenger segment grew 14.3 per cent to Rs 42,866 crore in 2014-15 from 37,458 crore in the year-ago period. Despite a 2.3 per cent decline in passenger volumes, higher passenger fares seem to have come to the rescue. Passenger fares were increased five per cent in June 2013, two per cent in October 2013 and 14.2 per cent in June 2014.
Within the passenger segment, volumes in the suburban category dipped one per cent to 4,503 million while non-suburban passenger volumes plummeted four per cent to 3,724 million in the previous financial year.