Railways operating ratio of 98.44 per cent in 2017-18, worst in last 10 years: CAG

The railways recorded an operating ratio of 98.44% in 2017-18, worst in 10 years, CAG said in its report.

NEW DELHI: The Indian Railways recorded its worst operating ratio in 10 years in 2017-18 at 98.44%, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) said in a report tabled in Parliament.

Operating ratio is the amount of money the national transporter spends to earn each rupee. Lower the ratio , the healthier are railways’ finances.

The national auditor in its report on the railways' finances, said that the railways would have ended up with a negative balance of Rs 5,676.29 crore instead of a surplus of Rs 1,665.61crore but for the advance received from NTPC and IRCON.

“The Indian Railways' operating ratio at 98.44% in 2017-18 was the worst in the last 10 years,” the national auditor, Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), said in a report tabled in Parliament on Monday.

Exclusion of this advance would otherwise have increased the operating ratio to 102.66%, the auditor said.

Almost 95% of the profit from freight traffic was utilised to compensate for the loss on operation of passenger and other coaching services, the report said.

The audit analysis of the finance accounts of Indian Railways revealed a declining trend of revenue surplus and the share of internal resources in capital expenditure. The net revenue surplus decreased by 66.10% from Rs 4,913.00 crore in 2016-17 to Rs 1,665.61 crore in 2017-18.

The share of internal resources in total capital expenditure also fell to 3.01% in 2017-18. “This had resulted in greater dependence on Gross Budgetary Support and Extra Budgetary Resources," the CAG said.

The CAG also recommended that railways need to take steps to augment their internal revenues, so that dependence on gross and extra budgetary resources is contained.

"Under provisioning for depreciation is resulting in piling up of 'throw forward' of works concerning renewal of over aged assets. There is an urgent need to address this backlog and ensure timely replacement and renewal of old assets," it said.

The response to the Railway Ministry's 'Give it Up' scheme is "not encouraging", the CAG report said, adding that senior citizen concession accounted for 52.5 per cent of the total allowed by the national transporter.

The initiative, started in 2017, encouraged senior citizens to give up their train fare concessions as part of the Railways' bid to increase revenues.

The CAG said while the Railways earned Rs 88,064 crore revenue from 190 crore reserved passengers between 2015 and 2018, it allowed concession of Rs 7,418 crore (8.42%) to 21.75 crore (11.45%) reserved passengers during the same period.





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