To boost its falling earnings and compete with road transport, the Indian Railways has decided to offer discounts to customers who book ‘round-trips’ for freight haulage, ThePrint has learnt.
In a letter dated 5 June addressed to all general managers of zonal railways, accessed by ThePrint, the Ministry of Railways said: “An analysis of traffic moving by road has revealed that there are a number of flows which involve movement of such commodities that can also move by rail.”
The policy will be applicable from 1 July 2020 and remain valid for a year until 30 June 2021.
“One of the reasons cited for traffic moving by road in origin-destinations served by Railways is that road hauliers offer customers a discount when traffic is assured in both directions.
Given the fact that a considerable percentage of railways’ rakes run back empty after unloading, it is felt that railway should also incentivise/encourage round-trip traffic, and hence this policy,” the letter stated.