In the current financial year till May, the operating expenses in all the seven zones have gone up far above the 26 per cent average growth of the Railways over the same period last year.
Efforts to reduce railway expenses
Railway is troubled by its increasing expenditure and is now seriously considering to control them. There is a possibility that in this exercise to reduce expenditure, some allowances related to railway employees may be cut. Concerned over rising operating expenses, the Railway Board has asked the seven zones to review the allowances for overtime, night duty and travel and fuel and maintenance. Railway Board Chairman VK Tripathi in the quarterly review meeting found that the operational expenses are very high. In the current financial year till May, in all the seven zones, it has gone far above the 26 per cent average growth of the Railways over the same period last year.
where has the cost increased
These zones spending more than the average of 26 percent are Northeast Frontier Railway (37.9 percent), Northern Railway (35.3 percent), South-Central Railway (34.8 percent), South-Western Railway (33.1 percent), North-Western Railway ( 29 percent), Western Railway (28 percent) and North-Central Railway (27.3 percent). In response to a question, the Railways told PTI that the total budget estimate for 2022-23 regarding operating expenses is Rs 2.32 lakh crore. As the accounts are yet to be audited, the relevant figures are provisional. The department said, Railways has issued guidelines on expenditure control and management of the Ministry of Finance. Austerity and economical measures are being implemented on various fronts. Apart from this, focus is also being given to improve inventory management along with optimizing fuel consumption.
cost reduction tips
Sources said that during the meeting, the Railway Board directed the zones to take immediate steps to reduce their expenditure and asked the General Managers to prepare an action plan in this regard. The board said, expenses like overtime, night duty allowance, kilometer allowance can be controlled. This needs to be monitored. In addition, zones like Eastern Railway (ER), Southern Railway (SR), North Eastern Railway (NER) and Northern Railway (NR) need to regulate kilometer allowance. This allowance is given to the employees operating the train. On the other hand, South-East Central Railway (SECR), East-Central Railway (ECR) and East Coast Railway (ECOR) have been asked to reduce their expenditure on night duty allowance.