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FICCI calls for inclusive rail freight policy 

steelguru , May 20, 2019

Business Line reported that industry body FICCI has suggested to the railways ministry various measures like inclusion of coal and coke in long-term tariff contract policy, to promote growth of steel industry. The policy was unveiled by the ministry for key customers using predetermined price escalation principle. FICCI also suggested rationalisation of freight class for iron ore, formulation of long-term policy on freight structure for short lead traffic, allocation of more rakes for movement of cargo for industries, and route rationalisation policy for iron ore and limestone. It also said it is essential to rationalise freight class for iron ore in view of the viability of domestic iron ore mining and steel sector.

It said that “Since a wide range of industrial segments ranging from metals to thermal power generation are dependent upon coal, coke and iron ore, these commodities should also be covered under the LTTC policy.”

FICCI noted that while this policy provides certainty in logistics operations to the industry and railways, there are exceptions in the policy and the most transported commodities - iron ore, coal and coke have been listed under excluded category.

Further, it said several railway routes carrying iron ore and limestones have been subjected to route rationalisation due to congestion in the railway network and delays in doubling /trebling of lines to ease the situation.

It said that “Therefore, route rationalisation needs to be reconsidered and corrected.”