Mukul Roy, Mamata's answer to a recalcitrant railway minister Dinesh Trivedi, has done exactly what his leader wanted.
The new minister for railways today announced a rollback of the proposed increase in passenger fares for three-tier sleeper, AC-chair car and 3-AC, thereby excluding a majority of passengers from the impact of the fare hike.
The roll-back is expected to reduce additional revenue generation by the Railways by around Rs7,000 crore in the 2012-13 financial year.
Dinesh Trivedi had proposed an across-the-board increase in rail freight rates, with a projected gross traffic receipts of Rs1,32,552 crore in the 2012-13 financial year, an increase of Rs28,635 crore over the revised estimates of the previous fiscal (2011-12).
Trivedi had proposed a 2 paise per km increase in suburban and ordinary second class travel. For mail, express second class the proposed hike was 3 paisa per km; for sleeper class 5 paisa per km and for AC chair car and AC 3 tier and first class 10 paise per km.
For AC 2-tier and AC 1st class, the proposed hike was 15 paise per km and 30 paise per km, respectively.