Railways has emerged as the most preferred carrier of automobiles in the country during the 2017-18 fiscal with a 16 per cent jump in vehicles being transported by trains, the ministry said today.
In 2017-18, around 29 million vehicles were produced in the country registering a growth of 14.78 per cent over the same period last year.
Railways' earning from automobile traffic has increased by 18 per cent as compared to 2016-17, the Ministry of Railways said.
"Year 2017-18 has witnessed a paradigm shift in the marketing efforts of Indian Railways to attract automobile traffic and enhance our freight basket. Specially in the later half of 2017-18, under the guidance of the Minister of Railways, we decided to liberalise Automobile Freight Train Operator (AFTO) policy to encourage more private investment in special wagons, procurement of our own BCACBM (high-capacity railway wagons) and NMG wagons," said Mohd Jamhsed, Member Traffic, Raiway Board.
In view of the issues raised by the stakeholders, the AFTO policy has been liberalised wherein registration fees for the AFTO scheme has been reduced from Rs five crore to Rs three crore and the condition of minimum procurement of three rakes under the scheme has been relaxed to one rake. The revision was issued on October 13, 2017.
Jamshed stated that in April, 2018, the national transporter has taken two game- changing decisions to allow handling of automobiles from all container terminals and to allow loading automobiles and auto spares in privately owned wagons in different directions for optimal utilisation of stock.
Railways is also working closely with automobile industry to develop policies which are mutually beneficial to industry as well as Railways, the statement said.
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