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Indian Railways target four-fold increase in advertising revenue: Railway Budget 16-17

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MUMBAI: Aiming to tap newer areas for generating revenue, Railway minister Suresh Prabhu expressed his intention to heavily explore the potential of Indian Railways in generating more advertising revenue, with a target to multiply earnings by almost four times.

While presenting the Railway Budget 2016 - 2017, Prabhu said, “We have vast physical infrastructure that facilitates exploitation through advertising. We intend to give special focus to exploring advertising potential on trains, stations and land adjacent to tracks of big stations.”

“We will use customer interfacing assets to earn advertising revenue. Evolve models for revenue potential in 20 stations over the next three months to target ad revenue and improve earnings from advertising by more than four times than the current ad revenue,” added Prabhu.

To further optimise the service’s potential for advertising revenues, Prabhu also announced the introduction of display screens. “We are soon introducing 20,000 high tech display screens across 2000 stations as rail display network for real time information to passengers and also unlock advertising potential,” Prabhu asserted.

“Railway has typically focused on increasing revenues on tariff hikes,” Prabhu had stated at the beginning of his budget address at the Rajya Sabha.

Stressing the need to increase Indian Railways’ revenue through non-tariff resources and methods at the beginning of his address at the Rajya Sabha, Prabhu also shared his plans to capitalise on the heavy digital traffic on the IRCTC website by engaging in e-commerce activities. “Railway has typically focused on increasing revenues on tariff hikes. IRCTC also has potential to exploit e commerce activities due to the large number of hits,” Prabhu shared.

The minister also announced a special concession for journalists on ticket tariff. “For our journalist friends we will allow e-booking of tickets on concessional passes,” said Prabhu, later adding in jest, “Hoping that they will cover it better.”

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