Railways to levy busy season surcharge on goods transport

Railways to levy busy season surcharge on goods transport

New Delhi: In a move which could affect the market adversely, the Railways have decided to levy a busy season surcharge of 5% to 7% on transportation of all products.

As per the decision, the transportation of goods on trains will be costlier by 5% to 7 % with effect from October 1.

According to a senior railway official, the imposition of busy season surcharge is an annual exercise and will remain in force from October to March. While the levy of 5% is imposed on transportation of coal and coke, other products would be charged 7%.

Termed as dynamic pricing policy, the decision aims to overcome the effect of the recent fuel price increase. Diesel constitutes 17% of the railway’s total operating cost.

The surcharge will be in force from October to March. However, container traffic has been spared the surcharge. Coke and coal account for 40% share of rail freight traffic.

Meanwhile, Railways had also offered 5% to 6% freight rebate to its customers in the form of discounts on certain items including caustic soda, caustic soda liquor and alumina.

The discounts will be applicable to privately owned wagons only.

Following the diesel price hike in June this year, Railways had planned to hike freight charges for a host of commodities including ores and minerals, petro-products, coke and coal, fertilisers and foodgrains by 5% to 7% by imposition of a special supplementary surcharge.

However, it had to rollback the special supplementary levy under pressure to keep in line with the government’s strategy of containing inflation.