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Railways worst operating ratios in 2016-17 and 2000-01, both under BJP govts: P Chidambaram

Railways worst operating ratios in 2016-17 and 2000-01, both under BJP govts: P Chidambaram

New delhi: The problem of Indian Railways is deeper and it cannot be run as a government department, former Finance Minister P Chidambaram said on Wednesday while criticising the BJP government for the public transporter reporting the “worst” operating ratio in the last fiscal.

“Railways worst operating ratio in 2016-17. Previous worst in 2000-01. Both under BJP governments! Despite well-meaning minister. Problem of Railways is deeper. It cannot be run as a department of government,” he said on Twitter.

An operating ratio indicates how much the railways spends to earn a rupee. An operating ratio of 94.9 per cent means that the railways is spending 94.9 paisa to earn 100 paisa (one rupee).

A lower figure of operating ratio is therefore regarded better and is indicative of better financial health of the system. The operating ratio of railways has seen deterioration in 2016-17 in comparison to previous years, indicating a higher operating cost.

Minister of State for Railways, Rajen Gohain, had said in a written reply in the Lok Sabha that the operating ratio of railways in 2016-17 was estimated at 94.9 per cent. Officials, however, say this figure is tentative till final figures come.

The last time Railways reported the worst operating ratio, 98 per cent, was in 2000-01 An operating ratio of 80 per cent or lower is considered desirable in the railways.

PTI