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Mamata Banerjee likely to present deficit rail budget

Mamata Banerjee likely to present deficit rail budget

New Delhi, June 30 (IANS) The impact of fare cuts, the unavoidable hike in wage bill, slower revenue growth and the freebies she has been promising will likely force a deficit budget from Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee Friday, senior officials said.
According to their estimates, the fare cuts announced by former railway minister Lalu Prasad and the impact of the Sixth Pay Commission may together result in an annualised loss of Rs.17,000 crore.
Along with that, if Banerjee decides to implement schemes like discounted passes for students and the elderly, along with improved quality of food for passengers and other amenities without fare hikes, the fiscal impact could be severe, they added.
One benchmark, which senior officials of the Railway Board maintain explains the constraints and the pressures on the ministry’s finances, is the operating ratio - the money spent to earn Rs.100.
“The interim budget has already indicated that the operating ratio of the Indian Railways will be 88.3 percent this fiscal,” said a senior official of the board, requesting anonymity.
“With the kind of freebies being talked about, without hiking passenger fares, this ratio could go even above 90 percent. This is bound to take a further toll on the surplus,” the official told IANS.
Banerjee has already said she will overhaul the existing “Tatkal” (instant ticket) scheme and the tour packages of Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corp and improve the food quality and passengers amenities without hurting the average passenger.
“Our aim is not just to generate surplus but also to take care of facilities and amenities to the masses,” Banerjee had said during her first interaction with the media after taking office.
“There is a sharp degradation in the facilities given to the passengers with bad food quality, dirty trains and toilets and lack of drinking water and even the basic cleanliness at platforms,” she had said.
“At the end of the day passengers must feel happy and satisfied with their train journey. My target is to continue to make railways a profitable venture but not at the cost of passenger amenities.”
But there are constraints on resources.
“This year, freight earnings are down because of the slowdown. The fare cut is costing us Rs.3,000 crore. And on top of it, we have to shell out Rs.14,000 crore on account of the Sixth Pay Commission,” said the Railway Board member.
In the previous year, the growth in freight earning was over eight percent on an average; this, however, slipped to three percent during the first three months this fiscal.
“There is a need to increase fares to improve food quality and other amenities. Further sops will add to revenue losses,” the official said, adding the surplus of Rs.90,000 crore generated during the past five years could dry up fast.
In the interim budget presented Feb 13, former railway minister Lalu Prasad announced fare cuts of two percent and introduced 43 new routes and the plans of railways to invest Rs.35,900 crore in 2009.
Lalu Prasad had said budgetary support to the railways had declined from 53 percent to 29 percent since 2004 and it was investing over Rs.20,000 crore out of its internal resources to fund its projects.
The interim budget also projected cash surplus of Rs.19,320 crore for 2008-09 and Rs.18,847 crore this fiscal. Also the projection of gross traffic receipts for 2009-10 was at Rs.93,159 crore for the year 2009-10.

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PME Due Date

Master Circular No. 25

Copy of Railway Board’s letter No. 69/H/3/11 dated 06.12.1974

Subject: Implementation of the Recommendations of the Visual Sub-Committee.

6. Periodical re-examination of serving Railway Employees:

6.l. In order to ensure the continued ability of Railway employees in Classes A l, A 2, A 3, B l and B 2 to discharge their duties with safety, they will be required to appear for re-examination at the following stated intervals throughout their service as indicated below:

6.1.1. Classes A l, A 2 and A 3 —At the termination of every period of three years, calculated from the date of appointment until they attain the age of 45 years, and thereafter annually until the conclusion of their service.

Note: (l) The staff in categories A l, A 2 and A 3 should be sent for special medical examination in the interest of safety under the following circumstances unless they have been under the treatment of a Railway Medical Officer.

(a) Having undergone any treatment or operation for eye trouble irrespective of the duration of sickness.

(b) Absence from duty for a period in excess of 90 days.

(2) If any employee in medical category A has been periodically medically examined at any time within one year prior to his attaining the age of 45, his next medical examination should be held one year from the due date of the last medical examination and subsequent medical examination annually thereafter.

If, however, such an employee has been medically examined, at any time earlier, than one year prior to his attaining the age of 45, his next medical examination should be held on the date he attains the age of 45 and subsequent medical examination annually thereafter.

Ammendment: It was ammended in 1993 as below

Age Group PME Due

Age 00-45 every 4yrs

Age 45-55 every 2yrs

Age 55-60 every year
As per Rly Bd's Guideline of Medical Exam issued vide LNo. 88/H/5/12 dated 24-01-1993

a) PME would be done at the termination of every period of 4 years from date of appointment / Initial medical Exam till the date of attainment of age of 45 years, every 2 years upto 55 years & there after annual till retirement.
b) Employees who has been periodically examined at any time within 2years prior to his attaining the age of 45years would be examined after 2years from the date of last PME & subsequent PME for every 2years upto 55years age.Of

NRMU 4 you

6.1.2. Classes B-1 and B-2—On attaining the age of 45 years, and thereafter at the termination of every period of five years.