Railways plan to fight cash crunch: Get sponsors to clean stations, cut low-demand trains

With the Indian Railways facing a shortfall of nearly Rs 30,000 crore by year-end, amid a slowdown in earnings and mounting expenditure, the Railway Board has suggested a slew of measures — from getting sponsors to clean trains and stations, to cutting down trains with less than 50% occupancy.

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“With a view to reducing expenditure and increasing earnings, Railway Board considered several immediate and short-term measures which need to be acted upon,” the board said in a letter, dated September 6, to its 17 zonal units.

The August-end figures indicate that Railways has already overshot its spending. Its earnings have grown by about 3.4% while its expenses have grown by about 9% this fiscal.

“Till July, our earnings and expenditure numbers were fine. It was in August that the earnings dropped because coal loading took a hit, thanks to unprecedented floods. Anyway, we are alive to the situation and are implementing a strategy to manage this,” Railway Board Chairman V K Yadav 

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