New Delhi: Keeping aside all the speculations aside, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhkar Prabhu has said that the passenger earnings which were budgeted to increase by 22.2% have been scaled down to 17.7% keeping in view the persistent negative growth trend, particularly in non suburban non-PRS segment of travel. Presenting the Railway Budget 2015-16 in Parliament today, he said there is a net reduction in Gross Traffic Receipts by Rs 917 crore in RE compared to the BE of Rs 1,60,165 crore.

The Railway Minister said Ordinary Working Expenses (OWE) in BE were provided for at an increase of 15.5% over 2013-14 which has been scaled down to 11.7% in the RE. Taking into account the likely savings accruing from drop in prices of HSD (High Speed Diesel) for traction partly offset by higher requirements under certain heads for maintenance, safety and cleanliness activities, the budgeted OWE of Rs 1,12,649 crore have been decreased in the RE 2014-15 to Rs. 1,08,970 crore i.e. by Rs 3,679 crore.

He said BE provided for an appropriation of Rs 28,865 crore to Pension Fund. However, based on trend, the pension outgo has been assessed to be higher than the provision made in BE. Accordingly, appropriation to the Pension Fund has been increased to Rs. 29,540 crore in RE. Internal resource generation also improved and accordingly the appropriation to DRF has been scaled up to Rs 7,975 crore in RE from the BE 2014-15 provision of Rs 7,050 crore.

Shri Prabhu said after taking into account the above, "Excess" of receipts over expenditure stands at Rs 7,278 crore in RE 2014-15. With the above estimates, the targeted Operating Ratio is 91.8% against 92.5% in BE, which is an improvement of 0.7% percentage point over BE and 1.8% over 2013-14. Plan size for 2014-15 has increased from Rs 65,445 crore in the B.E to Rs 65,798 crore in the Revised Estimates i.e. by Rs 353 crore with higher provisions under internal resource component and market borrowings for rolling stock requirement.

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