Need to focus on parcel business growth for benefit of small traders, businessmen: Rly Minister

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New Delhi, Dec 22 (PTI) The Railways needs to focus on the growth of its parcel business which is important for small traders and businessmen, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said on Tuesday.

'Immediate steps shall be taken to increase the production of LHB parcel vans, and to introduce e-payment and digital payment facilities. Parcel Special trains must be run punctually so that customers gain confidence to use these services,' a statement from the ministry said quoting Goyal.

In a review meeting of the national transporters’ parcel business on Tuesday, the minister also directed that adequate steps must to taken to facilitate movement of traffic from the north-eastern region and hill states and also to attract export traffic going towards the ports, the statement said. 'The growth of parcel business is very important as these services are used by small traders and businessmen – and making parcel services more customer friendly will give direct benefit to this segment. Railways shall aim for steep growth in parcel business, and more efforts and innovative ideas are required to bring the desired growth,' he said.

During the last few months, Indian Railways has brought in several initiatives to attract more business towards its parcel services, the statement said.

These include running of Kisan Rail trains to facilitate movement of farm and agri-produce, grant of discounts on sectors where parcel vans and parcel trains are returning empty, grant of discount on loading of 24 parcel vans in a single train, opening of all goods-sheds, Private Freight Terminals and Private Sidings for parcel traffic and started the parcel train for export traffic to Bangladesh.

In addition to these initiatives, the Railways said it is also planning to develop dedicated Parcel Terminals to make handling of parcel consignments easier for the parties, and Sangola (Central Railway), Kacheguda (South Central Railway), Coimbatore (Southern Railway), and Kankariya (Western Railway) have already been identified for development as a pilot project. PTI ASG RHL RDM RDM