Anticipating a healthier growth of economy, the Railways hope to achieve total receipts of Rs1,64,374 crore against an estimated total expenditure of Rs1,49,176 crore in the current financial year.
Earnings from freight traffic is estimated at Rs1,05,770 crore and that from passenger traffic Rs44,645 crore while overall operating ratio in 2014-15 is pegged at 92.5 per cent, which is 1 per cent better than that in 2013-14.
Based on the current trend, freight traffic is expected to grow 4.9 per cent to 1,101.25 million tonne, an increment of 51.07 million tonne over 2013-14 while passenger traffic is expected to grow slightly over 2013-14 levels.
Periodic revision in passenger fare and freight rates will be linked to revisions in fuel prices, in order to insulate the railways' revenues from fuel-cost escalation.
Out of total expenditure, the ordinary working expenses have been estimated at Rs1,12,649 crore, which is Rs15,078 crore higher than in 2013-14. This has been necessitated by fuel price hike and increase in staff costs. Pension outgo in 2013-14 had grown by about 16 per cent. Keeping the same trend, provision for pension is kept at Rs28,850 crore.
Gowda said the railways' financial position has undergone a change since the presentation of interim budget and passing of the `Vote on Account' in February last.
The railways carried 1,050.18 million tonnes of freight and goods earnings were short only by Rs94 crore. Originating passenger traffic also was lower by 46 million over the revised target while passenger earnings were short by Rs968 crore over the revised target.
Although gross traffic receipts grew by 12.8 per cent reaching Rs1,39,558 crore, it was short of the revised target by Rs942 crore. On the other hand, ordinary working expenses stood at Rs97,571 crore, which was in excess by Rs511 crore.
Appropriation to pension fund had to be stepped up to match the actual outgo.
As a result, instead of ending the year with a surplus of Rs7,943 crore, the surplus was actually Rs3,783 crore, ie, a shortfall of Rs4,160 crore. This is after fulfilling the dividend commitment of Rs8,010 crore.
The internal resource generation for the 2013-14 plan was Rs11,710 crore, as against the revised target of Rs14,496 crore. This is short by Rs2,786 crore.
In 2013-14, there was a decline in traffic growth as compared to the revised projections. Expenditure, however, shot up and was more than estimated. The operating ratio deteriorated by 2.7 per cent over the revised target to touch 93.5 per cent by end of 2013-14 fiscal.
The plan expenditure for 2013-14 fell short of the revised target of Rs59,359 crore mainly due to non-materialisation of PPP targets.