New Delhi, Feb 26: Railway Minister Lalu Prasad today announced completion of the process of rationalisation of freight structure that will reduce freight rates for petrol and diesel by five per cent.
Lalu said that barring a few light commodities, the difference between the highest and the lowest rates is not more than two times. The freight rates for these commodities will thus be brought down by 17 per cent in three years' time. The Railway Minister announced reduction by 14 per cent in the freight rates for fly ash. The policy of discount under empty flow direction freight discount scheme has been further liberalized. The rate of discount has been increased from 30 to 40 per cent.
Lalu Prasad also announced that the Indian Railways would give six per cent discount for traffic originating from other States for the North Eastern States barring a few commodities.
As part of the Central Government's commitment to all round development of the North Eastern States, last year, he announced a discount of six per cent in freight rates for traffic originating from the region for other States.
It has been decided that commodities not covered in goods tariff will be charged at a composite rate and not at the highest class rate as being charged at present. The move is expected to increase freight basket of various commodities and attract piecemeal traffic.
As a special incentive for the Merry-Go-Round System, the Railway Minister announced that a lump sum rate of about Rs. 25 per ton would be charged for loading of rakes of BOXN for a distance of 30 kms.