NTPC Limited has entered into a Rs 100 billion contract with Indian Railways (IR) for the transportation of coal from mines to all its plants up to 2019-20. NTPC will pay the amount in three instalments in advance to IR. In return, IR will offer fixed freight prices for 2018-19 and 2019-20, and a preferential allotment of rakes. This will help in reducing the transportation cost of coal for NTPC, as the upcoming revision in railway freight rates will not be applicable to the central power generator. NTPC has already paid an instalment of Rs 20 billion as part of the contract.