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Get ready for Rail fares hike now

The common man has already been suffering a lot from the spiralling price rise and it doesn't seem any immediate respite from it.

In this series, people will have to be prepared for another jolt as Indian Rail;ways has been asked to raise the fare of second-class and sleeper categories.

The Finance Minitry has asked Ministry of Indian Railways to raise the fare of second-class and sleeper categories to meet the fiscal target.

The Finance Ministry's move was aimed to find additional resource of income and streamline the expenditure.

R Gopal, secretary, department of economic affairs, has written a letter to Railway Board chairman Vinay Mittal in this regard and asked to revise the fare of second class and sleeper categories.

It is learnt that the fare of second class and sleeper class have not been increased since 2002-2003.

In the year 2002-03, the minimum fare for second-class mail and express trains went up from Rs 15 to Rs 16. However, during the UPA-I, passenger fares were marginally reduced for three consecutive years by the then Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav. During her tenure in UPA-2, Mamata Banerjee too did not touch fares, keeping an eye on the West Bengal assembly elections.Economic affairs secretary said that the Sixth Pay Commission and high fuel costs have seriously impacted the operating ratio of the railways. Therefore, there is a need to reduce the dependence on government budget and generate resources for capacity addition.Finance Ministry has said that Railways should look at the revision of its passenger tariff, particularly Second class and sleeper class, to find out the additional resource of income.