NEW DELHI: Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said in the Upper House on Friday that there is no proposal to hike rail fares, while the hike in excise duty and Cess has resulted in an increase in the price of diesel. "At present, there is no proposal to change the fares due to the hike in the price of diesel." Piyush Goyal also said that "diesel consumption by railways has been declining for years as it is moving towards electric traction and plans to electrify 100% by 2022."
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At the time of question hour, Congress leader B.K. Hariprasad sought a reply from the Railway Minister on whether the volatility of petroleum products will affect passenger and freight charges. Presenting the Budget earlier this month, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had proposed to increase excise duty and Cess by one rupee per litre on petrol and diesel.
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Railways are the third-largest consumer of diesel in the country, but it is fast-moving towards green energy. Goyal had earlier said that public transporters use about 1.27% of the country's total electricity consumption and 3% of diesel for their energy needs. Earlier on Wednesday, Goyal said that all broad gauge rail routes in the country will be electrified with mission mode. Goyal said it will be served as an environment-friendly move.
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