Finance Commissioner of Indian Railways calls for strict fiscal discipline

Patna (PNBE): A conference of railways’ finance advisers (FAs) and chief accounts officers (CAOs) was held at the East Central Railway (ECR) HQ at Hajipur on Friday under the presidentship Railway Board’s finance commissioner Rajlaxmi Ravikumar. Railway officials from all 16 zonal railways of the country attended the conference.

ECR CPRO Arvind Rajak said it was a historic moment for the ECR to host such an important event for the first time during the past 13 years of its establishment.

Addressing the conference, Rajlaxmi Ravikumar said the railway ministry has set an uphill task for each zone to improve operating ratio and maintain fiscal discipline so that railways could herald a new era of development across the country. She discussed the action plan for the 2015-2016 as decided by the ministry for each zone.

She said the operating ratio was 93.6% in the 2013-2014 fiscal while it was 91.8% during 2014-2015 fiscal year. Railways fund balance, however, led to the growth of about Rs 2,200 crore during 2014-2015, she said, adding railways has stipulated a target of 88.5% operating ratio during 2015-2016 fiscal year.

Ravikumar said railways has decided to put stress on maintaining cleanliness on platforms and railway premises in every zone. The railway budget has allocated 39% more funds under cleanliness segment during the current fiscal year. This fund must be optimally utilized by each zone so that railways could maintain cleanliness in the larger interest of passengers, she said.

She said railways is committed to spending more on its ongoing projects, which include those pertaining to doubling of tracks, gauge conversion and passenger amenities. Though there would be challenges galore before railways to complete railway projects, it would not be impossible to achieve the targets if the employees work hard, she said.

ECR GM A K Mittal, who welcomed the delegates at the conference, said the ECR achieved development in every sphere. Despite hardships, it registered revenue growth in both goods and passenger segments during 2014-2015 fiscal year and it would achieve the target for 2015-2016 as well, he said.