New Delhi: The increased railway fares have come into effect from today.
Ahead of the proposed railway budget for 2013-14, Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal had on January 9 announced a fare hike that will take effect from midnight Monday.
The fare hike is expected to mop up an additional 6,600 crore rupees per year for the government. This is the first increase in rail fares in a decade's time. The proposals will rake in an additional 1200 crore rupees between January 21 and March 31 this year.
Bansal had said that having hiked the railway fares now, the government will not increase the tariff in the budget.
"Train fares will be hiked from January 21 for all passengers, including the AC-1 and AC-2 tier passengers who were affected in early 2012. The hike will be two paise per km to 10 paise per km across classes. All fares will be rounded off to Rs 5, and there will be no fare hike in the Railway Budget," he said.
Justifying the hike, Bansal said passenger segment losses are likely to touch Rs 25,000 crore in the current fiscal.
"Input costs have increased immensely while rail fares have remained stagnant. In fact there was a decrease in lower class fares. Given economic slowdown, we have not been able to so far achieve this year's targets in either freight or fare side," he added.
He further said hat extra revenue earned through the fare hike will be used to maintain cleanliness and safety.
However, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has termed the government's decision to hike the rail fares as atrocious.