NEW DELHI: A parliamentary standing committee has urged the Ministry of Railways to review the Fuel Adjustment Component (FAC) at the earliest in order to safeguard the interests of the common man so that they can also benefit by the fall in petroleum prices.
The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Railways under former railway minister Dinesh Trivedi observed that in 2014 Railways has announced the continuation of the Fuel Adjustment Component (FAC) to revise the passenger fares every six months.
The Committee learnt that FAC linked revision in passenger fares was carried out twice – the first revision was increasing fare by 2 percent in October 2013 and another by 4.2 percent in June 2014.
Expressing its dissatisfaction with the reason cited by the ministry for not extending the benefit of decline in diesel prices to the passengers, the Committee said: “The ministry stated that the expansion, strengthening and modernizing of Indian Railways network required resources of a high order.”
At the same time, the Committee noted that the Railways’ input costs over the years have risen much higher than the growth of their earnings.
“It is, of course, a fact that the decrease in fuel cost has been very marginal compared to overall increase in input cost. The Committee, therefore, urge the ministry to review FAC and the other costs at the earliest in order to safeguard the interest of the common man so that they can also benefit by the fall in overall input costs,” the report added.
The committee also recommended lesser dependence on Gross Budgetary Support and market borrowings and rather called for exploring and reviewing all areas where resources could be mobilized to meet their growth plans.