NEW DELHI, March 22 (PTI): The hike in rail passenger fares for second class suburban and non-suburban, Sleeper, AC Chair Car and AC 3-tier was today rolled back with the new Railway Minister Mukul Roy dubbing it as a "huge drain" on the pocket of masses.
He, however, kept untouched the increase of 15 paise per km and 30 paise per km respectively in passenger fares in AC 2-tier and AC-I announced by his predecessor Dinesh Trivedi in the Railway Budget only last week.
Replying to the debate on the Railway Budget in the Lok Sabha, Roy also put on hold Trivedi's proposal of setting up a committee to examine whether there should be an independent tariff regulatory authority.
He scrapped Trivedi's proposal to expand the Railway Board.
Roy, who was replying to the debate just a day after taking over as Railway Minister, said, "The proposal to increase fare by 2 paise per km, 3 paise per km and 5 paise per km in second class suburban and non-suburban and Sleeper class is a huge drain on the pocket of the masses."
"Similarly, increase in the fare of AC Chair Car and AC 3-tier, which is now patronised by the middle class, is also quite severe.
"I intend to give relief to the already over burdened common man by not effecting any increase in these classes."
Trivedi had proposed 10 paise per km each for AC Chair Car and AC 3-tier.
Roy, however, did not refer to AC 2-tier and AC-I Class for which his predecessor had proposed hike of 15 paise per km and 30 paise per km.