The Indian Railways has recorded robust growth in revenue this year so far on more than double growth in passenger revenue and a decent increase in other coaching, goods and sundry revenues. The overall revenue of Indian Railways at the end of August 2022 grew 38% to ₹95,486.58 crore, up ₹26,271.29 crore over the corresponding period of last year.

The revenue from passenger traffic was ₹25,276.54 crore, with an increase of ₹13,574.44 crore (116%) over the corresponding period of the last year.

Passenger traffic also increased compared to the last year in both the segments -- reserved as well as unreserved. The growth from the long-distance reserved mail express trains has been sharper than the same in passenger and suburban trains, the railways' ministry data shows.

The other coaching revenue for the period stood at ₹2,437.42 crore, showing an increase of ₹811.82 crore (50%) over the corresponding period of last year. The growth in this category is being fuelled by robust growth in the parcel segment of the railways.

The ministry's goods revenue was ₹65,505.02 crore by August this year and increased by ₹10,780.03 crore (20%) over the corresponding period of last year. This has been achieved through incremental loading of over 58 MT and 18% growth in the NTKMs during the period.

"Food grains, fertiliser, cement, mineral oil, container traffic and balance other goods segments have been important contributors in this growth, in addition to the coal transportation," says the ministry.

The sundry revenue grew 95% to ₹2,267.60 crore, showing an increase of ₹1,105 cr over the corresponding period of last year.

The railways have also recorded the best-ever August monthly freight loading of 119.32 MT on sustained efforts to increase coal supply to powerhouses. The incremental loading in the month of August has been 8.69 MT, 7.86% up over the previous best August figures achieved in 2021.

In a move that'll help it boost revenue, the railways ministry last week slashed the land licensing fee to 1.5% from 6% earlier, which will also pave the way for its strategic divestment of the state-owned Container Corp. of India Ltd (Concor). The revised railways land policy allows long-term leasing of land for cargo-related activities for 35 years at 1.5% of the market value of land per annum.

The railways ministry says the decision will allow the leasing of railways land for implementing the PM Gati Shakti framework i.e. cargo-related activities, public utilities and the railways’ exclusive use. The major reduction in railways lands licensing fees is expected to attract more cargo, thereby increasing its modal share in freight transportation and reducing logistics costs. It'll also bring more revenue to railways and could generate 1.2 lakh jobs, says the government.

The railways ministry says the move will also simplify approvals for utilities as envisaged in PM Gati Shakti Programme. It will not only help in the development of public utilities like electricity, gas, water supply, telecom cable, sewage disposal, drains, optical fibre cables (OFC), pipelines, roads, flyovers, but terminals, regional rail transport, urban transport, etc., as well.

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