Cements to cost more
According to a railway ministry circular, the railways have raised freight charges on cement. The hike in freight rate of cement now stands at 4 per cent. Along with cement, iron ore, steel, coal, caustic potash and some petroleum products were raised by 4 per cent. "The hike in freight rates have been felt necessary in the wake of increased operational cost, fuel charges and employee wages," said a senior official at the Rail Bhawan, adding that about 50 per cent of the increase in costs has been absorbed by railways.