Indian Railways pushes for congestion surcharge as mineral imports up


The Indian Express reported that the Indian Railways have proposed to levy a ‘congestion surcharge’ at all ports in the country due to a surge in imports of coal, fertilisers and iron ore, a move strongly opposed by industry who have said that it would lead to a rise in prices of electricity, steel and farm output.

The railway board has written to the finance and commerce ministries on October 21st proposing that in view of the serious congestion at the ports a surcharge at the rate of 10% of the base rate would be imposed.

This translates into rise of 4 paise on per kg of coal and iron ore, 5 paise per kg on fertilisers, 3 paise per kg on limestone and dolomite and 5 paise per kg of gypsum. The board has asked these ministries to treat this proposed rise as a small cost to pay for the massive evacuation which is underway at the ports.

The railway board said that “At the rate which imports is growing, there is no other option but to recover this cost through the surcharge.” More info

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