Railway minister Dinesh Trivedi announced increases in passenger fares on Wednesday. It ranges from 2 paise per km to 30 paise per km. While hikes in passenger fares for second class tickets and shorter distances is marginal, fares on first class tickets for long distance journeys go up by as high as 10 per cent.
He also announced on Wednesday introduction of a fuel adjustment component in ticket pricing in the future. Simply put, this means ticket prices will rise or fall in tandem with changes in fuel prices.
While this will not be implemented now, the minister has clarified that passenger fares cannot be insulated going forward from rising costs. He said that the government is looking to set up a tariff regulatory authority for passenger fares and freight rates.
He said that passenger fares cannot be insulated from rising costs of operation for ever. The ministry is setting up a panel to advise on the need of such a body. A decision would be taken after this panel submits a report.
For better management at ticket windows, passenger fares to be rounded off.
"The proposal to rationalize the fares will cause minimum impact on the common man," the minister said. He said that the Railways is likely to earn Rs 89,339 crore from freight fares in 2012-13 while passenger fares are likely to add Rs 36,073 crore to the revenue.
* For suburban trains, the proposal is to hike fares by 2 paise per km.
* For second class passengers in mail and express trains, the fares are proposed to go up by 3 paisa per km.
* Sleeper fares are proposed to be hiked by 5 paise per km.
* AC Chair Car fares are proposed to go up by 10 paise per km
* AC second class fares by 15 paise per km
* AC first class fares are proposed to go up by 30 paise per km. This is a significant hike. A Mumbai-Howrah ticket would now cost 30 per cent more than before.
* A platform ticket will cost Rs 5.