At the end of the last financial year i.e. from April 2016 to March 2017 Indian Railways has achieved all-time high revenue of Rupees 1.68 lakh crores powered by its focus on boosting freight traffic and innovative steps. Indian Railways has loaded 1.107 billion tonnes of freight during the last fiscal surpassing its target of 1.094 billion tonnes. This has happened due to key interventions by Railway Ministry which helped to get it on to the fast-track. This is inspite of less export traffic, high liability of Pay Commission arrears and bonus payments, etc.
The freight revenue is estimated at Rupees 1.09 lakh crores as against 1.04 lakh crores in the fiscal 2015-16.Despite the most challenging environment, Indian Railways has done very well. Various policy interventions at times could foresee slump in demand were taken, which were pivotal in bringing back the traffic. Ministry of Railways has taken steps on additional discount on loading of some commodities, giving benefit on various usage charges on freight.
To achieve this record, Indian Railways put in place the necessary infrastructure. Availability of rakes and demand from various commodities including various freight reforms have created a major impact for this remarkable achievement of freight loading. Iron Ore loading and transportation to Steel Plants increased from 117 MT in 2015-16 to 137 MT in 2016-17 financial year.
Similarly, after a number of obstructions like less demand of coal both in National & International market, naxalite activities in major freight loading hubs, landslides and boulder falling on Railway track disrupting train movements, labour strike at different loading hubs, East Coast Railway has surpassed the last fiscal figure and loaded 177.28 MT freight as against 173.49 MT registered in 2015-16 fiscal by registering an increase of 2% which is 3.78 MT more.