New Delhi, Sep 12: Citing economic slump and to give a boost to the economy, Railways on Thursday decided to suspend the busy season surcharge for all freight traffic and said during the last five months it did more business as compared to last year, but the growth is not what it had expected.
Member Traffic (Railways) P S Mishra told a press conference at the Railway Bhavan that the levy of Busy Season Charge, which is levied at the rate of 15 per cent from October 1- June 30, has been deferred till further advice (except for iron ore and POL). Coal and coke and container traffic are already exempt.
Railways also plans to increase the flow of rakes for auto companies to increase freight traffic contribution from the sector.
He said with these measures, 'we intend to get more loading.'
'We also expect that coal should pick up with these measures, together with monsoon at the end,' Mr Mishra replied to a query.
Railways has also decided to waive of supplementary charges on Mini and two point rakes, which will include the 5 per cent supplementary charges applicable on loading on mini and two point rakes is being waived off. This is likely to boost loading of Smaller cargo sizes and help cement, steel, food grains and fertilizers loading.
Mr Mishra said as per haulage charge rating of container traffic, 0-50 km is the minimum distance slab for charging. It is seen that container traffic in this ultra short lead (0-50 km) is very low at present.
Therefore, round-trip charging of container trip has been introduced for a distance of less than 50 km on each way.
Under this scheme, haulage charge for 0-100 km slab will be charged for total to and fro movement, instead of charging for 0-50 km slab each way.
He said this comes out to be about 35 per cent cheaper per TEU for the complete round-trip. It is expected to give a fillip to EXIM traffic between ports and ICDs.
The Member(Traffic) Railways also announced discount on movement of empty containers and empty flat wagons. A discount of 25 per cent discount in haulage charge of containers has been given to encourage movement of empty to ports; thereby increasing loaded container traffic in return.
It is expected to enhance price-competitiveness of Railway vis-a-vis other modes of transport and expand freight basket by capturing new traffic.
Mr Mishra said as per container haulage charging policy, notified commodities are charged at Container Class Rates (CCR), which is 15 per cent lower than General Tariff Rates (GTR). Rest of the commodities are charges at Freight All Kind (FAK) rates, which are even lower than CCR.
Recently, 90 more commodities have been de-notified, which brought down their haulage charge from CCR to FAK rates. Now, out of total 635 commodities in Goods Tariff, only 38 commodities are under notified.
He said measures to enhance ease of business and digitisation include pan-India Implementation of eT-RR. Facility of eT-RR has been successfully implemented across the country with effect from August 1, 2019.
eT-RR is user-friendly and paperless transaction system where Railway Receipt is generated and transmitted electronically to customer through FOIS. Delivery of goods is given through e-surrender of eT-RR. That is, customer is saved the hassle of carrying physical Railway Receipt from originating to destination station.
This facility is expected to bring down the transaction costs of rail customers, and also pave the way for greater digitisation. (UNI)