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Goods segment causes NFR�s revenue dip


GUWAHATI, June 17 - A big dip in revenue from the goods segment resulted in a decrease in the year-on-year overall earnings of the Maligaon-headquartered Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) during the 2019-20 fiscal.

This came about even though the zone registered growth in its earnings from the passenger, �sundry� and �other coaching� segments.

In the April 2019-March 2020 period, NFR�s total approximate gross earnings on originating basis stood at Rs 3,171.43 crore as against Rs 3,325.76 crore in 2018-19, registering an annual fall of 4.64 per cent.

The goods segment played the spoilsport for the zone during the financial year under review.

Goods earnings on originating basis of NFR plunged by 14.22 per cent on an annual basis to Rs 1,114.27 crore in the financial year ended March 31, 2020, as against Rs 1,298.97 crore in the previous fiscal.

However, the zone was able to maintain its position in other parameters.

Passenger earnings went up marginally by 0.40 per cent annually to Rs 1,671.46 crore in the last fiscal as compared to Rs 1,664.75 crore in 2018-19.

Likewise, NFR�s sundry earnings registered an increase of 6.33 per cent and went up to Rs 130 crore in 2019-20 as against Rs 122.26 crore in 2018-19.

Similarly, earnings from �other coaching� improved by 6.64 per cent year-on-year in 2019-20 to Rs 255.70 crore compared to Rs 239.78 crore in the previous financial year.

However, the total approximate number of passengers booked by the NFR during the last financial year fell by 2.61 per cent on an annual basis to 107.44 million from a figure of 110.32 million in the April 2018-March 2019 period.

Commenting on the numbers, a railway official said, �Our overall earnings took a hit in 2019-20 due to fall in our revenue from the goods segment. This happened on account of the overall slowdown which affected the Indian economy in the last financial year.�

Asked if the COVID-19 pandemic and nationwide lockdown also had an impact on the numbers, he discounted the notion. �The consequences of the pandemic and the lockdown will be felt in the current fiscal. It is accepted that earnings will go down substantially in the first and second quarters of this financial year and we can expect some sort of rebound only from the third quarter onwards. However, at the same time, the impact of the lockdown has been more pronounced on the passenger services rather that in the goods segment. After all, freight services continued even during the first two phases of lockdown when passenger services were suspended,� said the official.

Meanwhile, the total approximate gross earnings of the Indian Railways on originating basis also registered a decline of over 4.6 per cent on an annual basis and stood at over Rs 1,80,331 crore in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2020.

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