The Railways will increase its freight rates for several commodities including grains, pulses, urea, coal and cement from April 1 as proposed in the Railway Budget 2015-16. In his Rail Budget, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu had proposed an average hike of 3.2 percent in freight rates.
The Railways has designed a gigantic target of carrying 1,186 million tons (MT) of goods in the next fiscal year as against 1,105 MT in the current fiscal.
Freight rates for carrying grains, pulses and urea will be raised by 10 per cent from April 1, while coal rates would be increased by 6.3 per cent. Cement freight rate has been proposed to be increased by 2.7 per cent, while a hike by 3.1 per cent is expected on scrap and pig iron rates.
The freight rates for bitumen and coal tar are to be hiked by 3.5 per cent while iron ore and steel will be raised by 0.8 per cent in the next fiscal. The estimated earnings from fright charges will be Rs. 1,21,423 crore in the next fiscal as against Rs. 106,927 crore in 2014-15.
However, the increase in fright rates will have a direct impact on consumers of essential commodities and steel and aluminium industries.