The Indian Railways will meet its operating expenditure from its earnings despite the coronavirus pandemic, Railway Board chairman V.K. Yadav said on Saturday, assessing a year that
saw the national transporter scale down its passenger services to an unprecedented level to contain the spread of the virus.
Addressing a year-ender press meet, Yadav said several expenditure-control measures and freight revenue earnings will help compensate for the losses in the passenger segment.
Owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, the railways’ passenger revenue has come down to just Rs 4,600 crore this year compared with Rs 53,000 crore last year, a slide of 87 per cent.
Yadav said the railways expect an increase in freight loading revenue on account of enhanced transportation of non-traditional commodities such as foodgrain and fertilisers.
“The railways has so far spent 12 per cent less than last year. We have controlled our expenditure and as few trains are operational we are saving on fuel and inventory. Despite Covid-19, we will meet our operating expenditure from our revenue.
“We have almost surpassed both freight loading and freight revenue of last year. So, this year’s freight revenue would be more than last year’s,” he said.