IR owes over Rs.1,000 Crore in Diesel Bills; Rs.1,384 Crore being processed for payments currently

Piyush Goyal said the payment of fuel bills was a continuous process, and the bills keep coming “periodically” and were also cleared in the same manner. In 3-4 years, we won’t need diesel, said Railway Minister in written response to RailNews queries.

NEW DELHI: The national transporter owes oil companies more than Rs 1,000 crore in diesel bills, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal told . Replying to a question, Goyal said the payment of fuel bills was a continuous process, and the bills keep coming “periodically” and were also cleared in the same manner.

The Union minister said bills amounting to Rs 1,384 crore were being processed for payment currently. It owes Indian Oil Rs 1,037 crore, Bharat Petroleum Rs 154 crore, Hindustan Petroleum Rs 61.53 crore, Reliance Industries Rs 115.60 crore and Nayara Energy Rs 15.96 crore.

Goyal said the national transporter did not owe anything for electric traction. The minister said it was difficult to work out the impact of the increase in diesel prices on the railways as the cost of the fuel had risen and decreased multiple times. He said the railways had earmarked Rs 22,179 crore for diesel traction in budget estimate 2019-2020.

In a written response, the Minister answered to the following queries of RailNews through email:-

How will the diesel price hike impact the Railways?

When prices were up, we cut duty on fuel. International prices and dollar rates are down now. However, infrastructure is the need of the hour, and if we have to do a bit to finance for that, I don’t think the people of India will mind.

We are moving so rapidly to electrification that in 3-4 years we will not have any need for diesel.

How do you rate the success of the PPP model in the logistics sector?

A lot of investment has taken place in roads and airports through the PPP model.

In railways, the model hasn’t been used much, but we are starting now. Catering and cleanliness have been outsourced. Now, we are going for it on a much bigger scale.

We have to plan investments worth 50-lakh crore. Companies will come in only when the planning gets done.

Where do you plan to invest the amount?

The 50-lakh-crore investments discussed in the Budget have a lot of dimensions. We have to examine the precise requirements such as where do we need more dedicated freight corridors, more semi-high-speed or high-speed trains, and double, triple or quadruple tracks. We are doing studies on these.

What, according to you has this Budget addressed?

It is a very balanced Budget. There has been no compromise on fiscal prudence. The FM has made sure that all the pain points have been addressed, be it NBFCs, HFCs, real estate or start-ups.