No plan to raise rail fares for now: Goyal

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New Delhi, July 26 (IANS) There is no proposal to hike rail fare even as price of diesel has gone up as a result of increase in excise duty and cess, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said in the Rajya Sabha on Friday.

“At present, there is no proposal to change fares because of diesel price increase,” he said.

Goyal also said that consumption of diesel by the Railways has been coming down over the years as it was moving to electric traction and there is a plan for 100 per cent electrification by 2022.

During the Question Hour, Congress leader B.K. Hariprasad wanted a reply from the Railway Minister on whether fluctuation in petroleum products would have its impact on passenger and freight fares.

While presenting the Budget earlier this month, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman proposed to increase excise duty and cess each on petrol and diesel by Re 1 per litre.

The Railways is the third largest consumer of diesel in the country but it has been fast moving to green energy in a big way to reduce carbon footprint and protect the environment.

Goyal had earlier said that the public transporter consumes about 1.27 per cent of the total electricity consumption of the country and three per cent of diesel for its energy needs.

In 2018-19, the Railways consumed about 20.44 billion units of electricity and 3.1 billion litres of diesel.

Along with electrification, the Railways is also using bio-diesel to reduce its dependence on fossil fuel.

–IANS

nk/mag/

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