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Southern Railway headquarters in Chennai.IBT Media/S V Krishnamachari

Close on the heels of the salary hike paid to them along with other Central government employees as recommended by the 7th Central Pay Commission (CPC), Indian Railways employees will get another bonanza in the form of a 78-day bonus. The decision announced on Wednesday will benefit about 12.25 lakh non-gazetted employees. Last year also, the bonus was fixed at 78 days' wages.

The bonus will be paid before Dussehra/Puja holidays and each eligible employee is likely to get about Rs 18,000

"The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given its approval to pay Productivity Linked Bonus (PLB) equivalent to 78 days wages to eligible non-gazetted railway employees (excluding RPF/RPSF personnel) for the financial year 2015-16. The approval entails a financial implication of approximately Rs 2090.96 crore," the ministry of railways said in a statement.

The All India Railwaymen's Federation (AIRF) called it an "achievement."

"Dear Comrades, hearty congratulations! Union Cabinet has today approved 78-day PLB to Railwaymen for the year 2015-16 at the enhanced ceiling of Rs 7,000 per month. This is another great achievement of AIRF," it said in a statement, reported IANS.

The Indian Railways finances are not healthy, given the decline in revenues during April-August 2016. The public transporter reported a five per cent fall in revenues to Rs 64,387 crore when compared to the corresponding period last year, The Hindu reported on September 10.

Freight earnings fell 9.68 per cent to Rs 40,980 crore from Rs 45,370 crore during the first five months of last fiscal. Freight revenues account for about 65 per cent of total revenues.