Though earnings were up by 6.67 percent up to December 10 as compared to last year, there was a decline in meeting the target. Railways' earnings till December 10 were Rs 1,11,834.32 crore as against the target of Rs 1,22,639.16 crore, a decline of 8.8 percent.
    
"In 2015, one of the challenges we have been facing is not getting enough cargo. So revenues are down. Because steel, cement, iron ore demand is very bad. Import and export are down. These are sources for cargo. So targets are falling short," Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu said.
    
He also said Seventh Pay Commission recommendations are equally a major challenge as Railways has to shell out additional Rs 32,000 crore annually.
    
"Secondly, Pay Commission recommendation is another big challenge. The Rs 32,000 crore additional burden for Pay Commission on Railways is unbearable. These are major challenges," he said and adding that these were two challenges of 2015 I hope we will be able to address it in 2016. On Pay Commission, we will have to talk to the Finance Ministry.
    
However, he said there were many good things that happened in Railways in 2015.    

"In 2015, we have done many things. First of all, getting huge resources for Railway which was always a problem. Getting finances for Railways is a great achievement," he said.

Known for his reform-oriented approach, Prabhu described the decision to delegate powers to senior railway officials including tenders as 'path-breaking' and an attempt to bring transparency in Railways.
    
"I have started restructuring by delegating powers to general managers and divisional railway managers which is path-breaking in Railways. We brought a complete transparency into the Railways. Not a single tender has come to me since I became minister. This is a major reform in Railways," he claimed.
    
Focusing on transparency, he said steps are being taken for bringing all tenders on e-tendering mode. "Now we are bringing all tenders under e-tendering platform. We have started postings, appointments, transfer also a in a transparent way.
    
"We have started a process of online examination for recruitment which will eliminate corruption in a significant way."
    
Referring to 'Make-in-India' campaign in Railways, he said, "We have started the campaign in a major way by launching Rs 40,000 crore locomotive projects in Madhepura and Marhora in Bihar. This is a big 'Make-in-India' effort as it will bring jobs that to in Bihar. This will also bring new technology to India."

On the decision on the multi-crore Train Set project, he said, "Whether locomotive factories or train set, I took the decisions for Railways' interest. Whatever was in Railways interest, I tried to do that."
    
Highlighting the comprehensive agreement with Japan on rail sector, Prabhu said, "Japanese collaboration is going to upgrade our existing system including safety, research in a significant way. Agreement on bullet train is also there."
    
Referring to the Rail Budget 2015-16, he said majority of announcements made have been implemented. "We have fulfilled 110 announcements made in budget," Prabhu said.

 

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