Cong buys truce; agrees to roll back non-A/C fare hike
While Mr Dinesh Trivedi will be replaced by Trinamool Congress chief Ms Mamata Banerjee's choice Mukul Roy as the Railways Minister, the Congress has given in to a partial rollback of passenger fare hikes.
Ms Banerjee said she is trying to protect the interests of the common man by demanding the rollback of fare hikes for second class and sleeper class passengers. For the Railways, this translates into a revenue loss of up to Rs 4,300 crore, which is 60 per cent of the incremental earnings from passenger segment projected for next year.
The impact would be lower if a partial rollback in second class fares is worked out. An announcement to this effect is expected during the reply to Railway Budget discussions in Parliament over the next few days.
"If our nominee will become Railway Minister then we will modify the fares. There is no problem in the hike in upper class fares. We have no objection. It is tolerable. But for those who are poor, who travel daily in trains or those who travel in sleeper classes, it matters," Ms Banerjee said.
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