Lalu Prasad offers incentives for railway freight
May 10, 2007 - 6:31:31 PM
New Delhi, May 10 - Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Thursday offered some major concessions and incentives in freight and loading of goods in railway wagons to manufacturers and traders of coal, cement, steel, fertilisers and food grains.
Lalu Prasad made the announcement at the first meeting of the Railway-Industry Coordination Committee held at the Rail Museum here.
Representatives of various trade and industry bodies attended the meeting, said a railway ministry spokesman.
The railway minister announced indefinite postponement of a 10 percent surcharge proposed on the freight for rakes charged on two point rakes and mini rakes.
Lalu Prasad acknowledged that very often it takes a long time for the Indian Railways to decide on applications seeking freight discount, adding that henceforth the railways would decide within two months from the date of application on all such demands.
'If the decision has to be taken at the level of the Railway Board, a maximum of three months will be allowed.'
The railway minister asked cement and steel traders to go in for long-term agreement with the Railways for five to 30 years. 'This agreement will help enable them secure guaranteed availability of wagons,' he said.
Cement, coal, steel and other industry captains were asked by the minister to avail of the five percent onload discount.
Lalu Prasad expressed confidence that the industry will help him achieve a target of double-digit growth in steel and cement movement, enabling Indian Railways to carry at least 200 million tonnes by 2011-12.
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