Feb 25, 2016
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Indian railways to target freight business revival – Suresh Prabhu

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India’s Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu (C) gestures upon his arrival at the parliament to present the railway budget in New Delhi, February 25, 2016. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India’s state-owned railways is reviewing the tariff structure for its freight business and wants to expand the basket of commodities it transports to boost revenues, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu said on Thursday.

Presenting the annual rail budget for 2016/17, Prabhu said the freight business – which provides two-thirds of Indian railways’ revenues – was struggling as capacity constraints bite and industrial demand slows.

“These are challenging times, maybe the toughest,” he told parliament, announcing plans for three new dedicated freight corridors across the country. “We need to look beyond the current approach to expand the basket (of commodities). We will make sure we recapture the traffic.”

A man carries his bicycle as he crosses a railway track in Ahmedabad, February 24, 2016. REUTERS/Amit Dave

A man carries his bicycle as he crosses a railway track in Ahmedabad, February 24, 2016. REUTERS/Amit Dave

Passengers board an overcrowded train near a railway station at Loni town in Uttar Pradesh, February 24, 2016. REUTERS/Anindito Mukherjee

Passengers board an overcrowded train near a railway station at Loni town in Uttar Pradesh, February 24, 2016. REUTERS/Anindito Mukherjee

Passengers travel in an overcrowded train near a railway station at Loni town in Uttar Pradesh, February 23, 2016. REUTERS/Anindito Mukherjee

Passengers travel in an overcrowded train near a railway station at Loni town in Uttar Pradesh, February 23, 2016. REUTERS/Anindito Mukherjee

Passengers board an overcrowded train near a railway station at Loni town in Uttar Pradesh, February 24, 2016. REUTERS/Anindito Mukherjee

Passengers board an overcrowded train near a railway station at Loni town in Uttar Pradesh, February 24, 2016. REUTERS/Anindito Mukherjee

India's Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu holds up his briefcase upon his arrival at the parliament to present the railway budget in New Delhi, February 25, 2016. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

India’s Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu holds up his briefcase upon his arrival at the parliament to present the railway budget in New Delhi, February 25, 2016. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

(Reporting by Tommy Wilkes; Editing by Malini Menon)

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