New Delhi: Railways have no plans as yet to increase freight charges despite the steep hike in diesel prices which have put an additional burden of over Rs 1200 crores on it.
     
"There is no move as yet to increase freight charges even if it (diesel price hike) hits us hard," said a senior Railway Ministry official.
    
Railways consume about 250 crore litres of diesel per annum to run its fleet of 4500 odd diesel locomotives, hauling both freight and passenger trains.
      
The national transporter paid about Rs 10,000 crore during the last fiscal towards its fuel bill, which keeps increasing every year due to addition of new services and more freight haulage.
     
The hike is going to cost railways about Rs 1250 cr in a year. "Since six months have already passed, the additional cost of the fuel bill will be around Rs 100 cr per month," said the official.
    
The three oil PSUs - Indian Oil, HPCL and BPCL – supply fuel providing a subsidy of 30 paisa per litre as railways is a bulk consumer of diesel.
     
"We get 80 per cent of our supply from IOC and rest from other two oil majors," he said.
     
The hike comes at a time when railways are facing an acute financial crunch. It has sought Rs 4500 crore as additional budgetary support from Planning Commission to fund its ongoing projects.
    
Railways had already carried out a hike of more than 20 per cent in freight rates before the Rail Budget this year.

(Agencies)

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