The railways is in the process of "rationalising" its passengers and freight fares, Railway Board Chairman VK Yadav said on Thursday. He, however, refused to say if the prices will be increased.
In a media briefing, Mr Yadav said although the railways had initiated a number of measures to counter its dwindling revenues, increasing fares was a "sensitive" issue and it had to be discussed at length before a final decision was taken.
"We are going to rationalise the fares and freight rates. Something is being thought about. I cannot divulge more, this is a sensitive subject. While the freight fares are already high, our target is to draw more traffic from road to railways in this regard," he said.
The Indian Railway has been hit hard by the economic slowdown, with the earnings of the national transporter seeing a dip of Rs 155 crore and Rs 3,901 crore in passenger and freight fares respectively in the second quarter of the current fiscal, compared to the previous one, according to an RTI reply.
In the first quarter (April-June) of financial year 2019-20, the railways earned a revenue of Rs 13,398.92 crore from passenger fares. This dipped to Rs 13,243.81 crore in the July-September quarter.