Indian Railway launches Non-fare Revenue Policy

To boost the non-fare revenue and digital transactions in the Indian Railways, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on Tuesday inaugurated various initiatives in New Delhi. National carrier plans to increase its non-fare revenue contribution from under 5% now to 10-20% as prevalent world over. Railways also looks to boost digital transactions, to set up ATMs, allow Ads on trains.

New Delhi: Battling cash crunch after being hit hard by the implementation of the seventh pay commission report, Union Minister for Railways Suresh Prabhu is soon to unveil the non-fare revenue policy in a bid to mop up additional revenue. Besides opening various avenues for the indoor and outdoor advertisements, Prabhu is also all set to give space for installation of over 2000 ATMs at various railway stations.

The Ministry of Railways has apparently set a target to mobilize additional Rs 2000 crore from non-fare revenue. “The policy will share scopes for non-fare revenue from spaces in trains, level crossings and areas along tracks, besides platforms.

The non-fare revenue policy will be the first such endeavor to be unveiled by the minister, which will offer various schemes for revenue-yielding activities, including train branding, rail radio schemes and the mega offer of setting up about 2400 ATMs at platforms of major stations across the country,” said a senior official.

Incidentally, the non-fare revenue is less than five per cent of the total revenue earned by the Railways through non-tariff sources. The official stated that the ATMs will be on end platforms or prominent spaces in the circulating area of the station, while stations will be offered via transparent e-auction process for a long-term 10-year contract.

The policy includes selling outdoor spaces at railway stations to media buying agencies for installing advertising hoardings and billboards, providing radio and video content through wifi on stations and on trains, leasing out spaces at platforms to ATMs and selling branding of rights of trains and stations to FMCG and other companies.  “The policy will allow advertising at areas, which have so far not been tapped such as tracks, road-over-bridges, and level-crossing gates. It will offer out-of-home advertising policy and monetisation of railway assets by means of advertising,” said the senior official.

Rail Display Network, which will beam advertisements, will initially cover 25 stations, including Old Delhi, Varanasi, Jaipur, said the official, while adding that the policy will offer the branding of trains allowing internal and external advertisement and product sampling on trains on a long-term basis to big players.