Indian Railways plans to cut spending on employee allowances: report

Concerned about rising operating expenses, the Board of Railroads has asked its seven zones to review their spending on employee allowances for overtime, night duty and travel, as well as fuel and interview, sources said.

At a quarterly review meeting chaired by Chairman of the Board of Railways, VK Tripathi, it was found that the Ordinary Operating Expenditure (OWE) for the current year to May shows that the seven areas exceeded the railway average of 26% increase over the corresponding period. of the previous year, they said.

These areas are Northeast Frontier Railway (37.9%), Northern Railway (35.3%), South Central Railway (34.8%), South West Railway (33.1%), North West Railway (29%), Western Railway (28 percent) and North Central Railway (27.3 percent).

In response to a question from PTI, the railways stated that total operating expenditures for the 2022-23 budget estimate are 2.32 lakh crore. As the accounts have not yet been audited, the corresponding final figures are only provisional, he said.

“The railways have issued expenditure control and management guidelines as issued by the Ministry of Finance. Austerity and economy measures are being implemented on several fronts. In addition, we are optimizing consumption of fuel and we are focused on improving inventory management,” he said.

During the meeting, the Board of Railways instructed the zones to take “immediate action” to reduce their expenses and asked the chief executives to develop an action plan, the sources said.

“Controllable expenses like OT (overtime), NDA (night duty allowance), KMA (mileage allowance) need to be watched very closely,” the Board of Railways told the chief executives, said. sources.

In addition, he said areas like Eastern Railway (ER), Southern Railway (SR), North Eastern Railway (NER) and Northern Railway (NR) must control the mileage allowance – given to line staff who operate trains – while South East Central Railway (SECR), East Central Railway (ECR) and East Coast Railway (ECOR) have been asked to cut their night service allowance expenditure.

Sources said the Board of Railways is particularly concerned about increased spending between heads.

The North West Railway (NWR), South West Railway (SWR), Western Railway (WR) and Southern Railway (SR) have been asked to monitor travel allowance per person.

South East Central Railway (SECR), North Central Railway (NCR), NWR and South Central Railway (SCR) were asked to review medical expenses and SCR, ECOR, SR and WR were asked to review medical costs. quarterly maintenance.

The Board of Railways said fuel expenditure (traction) in nine zonal railways (NFR, NER, CR, SCR, WR, NR, WCR, NCR, SWR) for the current financial year is more than the 53% increase in railways.

The increase in expenditure at controllable facilities in eight zonal railways above the railway average of 46.6% is a “cause for concern”, the board said.

It also highlighted non-traction fuel expenses in three areas which also increased in several ways, the review found.

“As the accounts have not yet been audited, the corresponding final figures are only provisional. According to forecasts, there is an increase in operating expenses due to the increase in traffic operations after the pandemic (Covid) “, the railways said in a statement.

“Now, as more and more passengers travel, various ancillary equipment and services have started to incur higher expenses. Even on the freight side, the increase in loading also requires better and regular maintenance and maintenance costs. ‘operating higher in terms of traction bill,’ he said.

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