Rail passenger fare may be reviewed in October

Railway Board Chairman Vinay Mittal on Saturday while addressing the National Editors’ Conference said there may be a review of passenger fares in October after assessing the cost of fuel.

“We will calculate the Fuel Adjustment Component (FAC) for six months beginning April 1, 2013.  Only after a calculation, we would take a decision on passenger fare,” Mittal said.

“The decision will be taken only after a review of the Fuel Adjustment Component. We will calculate even minor changes in cost of the fuel for the review-period,” the chairman said.
He also said by then the Rail Tariff Authority (RTA) will also be constituted. Any decision on passenger or freight fares would be taken in consultation with the RTA.

The review of FAC for both freight and passenger fares twice a year has already got the approval of Parliament as it was a part of the Rail Budget. Freight charges were even revised on that basis.

Meanwhile, railway sources are denying the possibility of a further hike as considerable increase in diesel prices for bulk consumers has already been done, any further increase in the April-October period is unlikely.

However, in case of an increase in prices, passenger fares will certainly be reviewed, but officials will also have to take into account the 2014 elections.

No government can afford such an increase in the run-up to election.

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