Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on Tuesday announced several policy initiatives to increase the non-fare revenue of the Indian railways by around Rs 16,500 crore in the next ten years.
The new policy initiatives included out-of-home advertisements, content on demand, branding of trains, non-fare revenue policy and ATM policy.
According to the Ministry of Railways, the new policy initiatives will look into different areas ranging from advertising in trains, bridges and other assets, as also setting up of ATMs at platforms.
“The objective of the policy is to allow Indian Railways to consider unsolicited proposals of earnings through non-fare sources,” the ministry said, adding it will set up an evaluation committee at divisional or zonal levels to examine needs, operational and legal feasibility of the project and technical and financial capacity of the proponent.
It assured that agencies will be selected on the basis of transparent tendering process via e-auction.
Among other features, ‘Right of First Refusal’ will be offered to the proponent to match the highest bid and that railways shall offer non-fare revenue contracts for a tenure of five years.
The railways elaborated that the non-fare revenue policy shall enable private or public sector participation in conceptualisation of an earning scheme.
About the out-of-home advertising policy, the ministry said: “The objective of the policy is to allow monetisation of railway assets by means of advertising. The railways expect more than Rs 6,000 crore to be generated through it.”
It also said that it has appointed RITES (Rail India Technical and Economic Service) as consultant, which appointed Ernst and Young as a professional media market evaluation agency (PMMEA).
The ministry added that under its ATM policy, it aims to generate over Rs 2,500 crore by the end of the contract, which is in ten years’ time.
“The objective of this policy is to allow setting up of ATMs at major stations of the Indian Railways,” the ministry said, adding: “The location of the ATM shall be on end platforms or prominent space in the circulating area of the station.”
The railways also announced its train branding policy, through which it aims to generate Rs 2,000 crore by allowing internal and external advertisement in the trains.
Train branding packages sizes shall be offered for bidding in a phased manner for Rajdhani package, Shatabdi package etc, it said.
Through it content on demand and rail radio policy, the ministry said, it wants to allow monetisation of entertainment based services on trains and stations.
Entertainment services shall be provided through audio (P.A. systems) and video systems (personal devices of the passengers) on trains and platforms provision of content such as movies, shows, educational programmes shall be in both paid and unpaid formats, it said, adding it expects over Rs 6,000 crore to be generated through this initiative.