Indian Railways’ freight revenue rises in October, hints at demand revival

Indian Railways’ freight revenue has increased 11 percent year-on-year (YoY) in the first 13 days of October to Rs 4,124 crore, hinting at a rise in economic activity and demand after interruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Freight volume too, jumped due to increased loading of commodities such as coal, cement, fertilisers, steel and food grains, according to a Mint report citing data from the Ministry of Railways.

Freight volume rose 18 percent during October 1-13, compared with the same period last year, to 43.46 million tonnes (mt), the report said. During the same period, the average loading of 53,774 wagons per day grew 16.5 percent from a year ago.

In the first half of FY21, freight traffic saw a drop of 9 percent YoY to 533 mt, earnings declined 17 percent to Rs 50,185 crore, Mint reported.

Since August, freight loading and revenue have seen a gradual increase, after plunging in the first quarter of FY21 due to the lockdown and COVID-related restrictions.

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on October 16 said a V-shaped pattern of economic recovery is being seen in many high-frequency indicators.

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