New Delhi: The government is all set to bail out Indian Railways from financial crisis by raising train fares. In fact, it was the Trinamool Congress (TMC) which presented the popular railway budget overlooking the battered financial condition of railways.

Now, the government wants to strengthen the financial condition of the railways. In one such effort, it is linking rail fares to inflation. Finance Minister P Chidambaram said, “The pace of growth has slowed down due to inflation.” The passengers will have to spend more on the train fares if they want to enjoy better facilities added Chidambaram.

Apart from this, the government is now focusing on public-private partnership, construction of golden quadrilateral network for goods carriage and raising funds.

According to sources, high speed trains are also on the agenda. New plan to revive the Indian Railways is in the pipeline. Railway Ministry, Planning Commission and Finance Ministry have already initiated talks to give it final shape.

Sam Pitroda-led Expert Group on Modernizaion of Indian Railways has estimated that Rs 8.39 Lakh Crore will be needed in next five years. However, the process has been started to improve the financial health with implementation of service tax.

The decisions pertaining to facelift the Indian Railways were put on hold as the former UPA ally TMC was not in favour of raising train fares. During the UPA-I and II, the railway portfolio was given to its allies who chose not to increase the fares. Former Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi had to resign from the post after facing the wrath of party supremo Mamata Banerjee over the issue.


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