Railways' operating cost going super fast

This means the state carrier spent Rs 117.31 to earn Rs 100 during that period.

The railways spent Rs 79,151.83 crore under ordinary working expenses against the target of Rs 75,993.74 crore during the first six months of this fiscal, reveal data available with finance wing of the Railway Ministry.

Between April to September, the state run transport company earned Rs 25,591.62 crore from passengers against a target of Rs 26,110.69 crore. Even earning from freight movement was low at Rs 53,614.87 crore as against the target of Rs 57,412.63 crore. 

The total earning had gone down during the last six months. As of September end of this fiscal, earning was Rs 83,425.49 crore against the target of Rs 90,903.91 crore.

Though railway officials blame pension liability, expenditure on various institutions under the railways and Railway Board and poor financial health, it is no secret that the national transporter is also facing stiff competition from other modes of transport in the movement of freight and people.

Poor financial health will mean the NDA government's plan to give a big push to improve infrastructure will probably take a hit.

But officials claim that the situation will improve between October to March of current fiscal as this period is considered peak season for movement of passengers as well as freight.

"April to September of a fiscal is always considered lean period as both freight and passenger movement are less compared to rest of the year,” said the official.

Hope prevails

For the past five to six years, the operating ratio was around 90.5 %. The national transporter expects the operating ratio to be 92.8% in 2018-19 against 96% in 2017-18.

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Railways' operating cost going super fast

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