Sikkim Chamber of Commerce demands rollback of Railway freight hike

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Gangtok, Jun 26 (UNI) The Sikkim Chamber of Commerce (SCC) today demanded the rollback of the freight hike by the Railway Ministry that will come into effect from July 1.

SCC president S K Sarda said the Railway Ministry had decided to levy seven per cent extra freight charge on all commodities included in class 120 and below, such as fertilisers, foodgrains, flour, pulses, oilcakes, oil seeds, leather and salt.

''This is contrary to the statement of Union Railway Minister Lalu Prasad that the Railways is considering further reduction in freight rates to leverage its competition over road transport in the wake of diesel and petrol price hike,'' Mr Sarda said.

The SCC president said the people of Northeastern region, including Sikkim, were situated far away from the production centres and their burden was rising with every increase in transportation charges.

''The people of the Northeast are the worst sufferers,'' he said and demanded rollback of the freight hike.

''If this is not done, the life of the common man will become more miserable. The government, being the largest transporter of the goods, must refrain from further hiking the freight rates. It cannot burden common people because of its inherent inefficiencies,'' Mr Sarda said.


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