COVID-19 among reasons for Railways' losses in last 3 years: Goyal

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New Delhi, Mar 10 (PTI) The Railways' revenue shortfall in the last three years has been primarily due to a drop in originating passengers, less loading, 'very low' growth in other coaching revenue and the coronavirus pandemic, Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said on Wednesday.

Responding to a query in Lok Sabha, Goyal said in 2020-21, to the end of January 2021, total traffic revenue declined by Rs 36,918.86 crore compared to the corresponding period last year due to the adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the consequential lockdown and partial operation of passenger services.

Listing the year-wise reasons for the revenue shortfall, he said in 2017-18 and 2018-2019, it was the 'drop in originating passengers -- in non-suburban segment -- and drop in average sub-urban lead in actuals vis-a-vis the revised estimates, less loading in actuals vis-a-vis revised estimates (RE) and very low growth in other coaching revenue' that resulted in the shortfall.

He pointed out that remittance of dividend receipts from Railway PSUs to General Revenues, which hitherto used to be part of Railways' sundry revenue and lesser mobilisation under land monetisation, also contributed to the shortfall.

For the year 2019-20 and 2020-21, Goyal attributed the shortfall in revenue to the 'adverse' impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the consequent suspension of railway operations.

He said the refund adjustment of over Rs 2,000 crore in sundry revenue to the Rail Land Development Authority and the complete shutdown of operations also contributed to the shortfall in revenue. PTI ASG DIV DIV