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Railway finances to take Rs 20.44-bn hit as govt clears bonus for employees

Shine Jacob/New Delhi 10 Oct 18 | 04:34 PM

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The Union Cabinet on Wednesday cleared 78 days productivity-linked bonus (PLB) for about 1.191 million non-gazetted railway officials, which will have an impact on railway finances by Rs 20.44 billion.     

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The wage calculation ceiling prescribed for payment of PLB to the eligible non-gazetted railway employees is Rs 7,000 per month. The maximum amount payable per eligible railway employee is Rs 17,951 for 78 days, said a government statement.

Payment of PLB to eligible railway employees is made each year before the Puja holidays. The decision of the Cabinet shall be implemented before the holidays for this year as well. This comes at a time when the Union Budget has cut the budgetary support for 2017-18 by Rs 150 billion and provisioned a lower amount of Rs 531 billion for 2018-19, compared to over Rs 550 billion during the last Budget, leading to a huge shortfall in the national transporter's investment plans.  

In addition to this, at close to 98 per cent, the Railways' operating ratio is also expected to be the worst ever this financial year. The operating ratio is calculated based on how much money the Railways is spending to earn each rupee -- if the operating ratio is 98 per cent, it means it is spending 98 paise to earn each rupee. One of the major reasons for this worst-ever operating ratio is considered to be the Railways' social sector commitments, including subsidies and pensions.   

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