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Container train operator files complaint against Rail Ministry

Container train operator Arshiya Rail has approached the Competition Commission of India (CCI) with a complaint against India’s Railway Ministry, after the latter introduced steep hikes in haulage charges for container operators. The Railway Ministry, in September, raised haulage charges by 170-200% for movement of heavy commodities, such as cement, stone other than marble, iron and steel, alloys and metals, and petroleum products, by container train operators. While the increase was initially proposed for both domestic and export-import traffic, the Ministry later exempted export-import cargo and domestic movement of ceramic tiles and white cement from the hike. The new rates are effective from December 1, 2010. The complaint was made under Section 4 of the Competition Act, which deals with abuse of dominant position. Container train operators together represent a small portion of domestic traffic.(January 23, 2011)