NEW DELHI: Facing an annual loss of Rs 500 crore on account of service charge waiver on online train tickets, Railway Ministry has asked finance ministry to let them levy the service charge after June 30.
Railway Board has been constantly in touch with the Ministry of Finance and has informed them that railway is already providing five types of incentives for digital transactions.
Post demonetization in November 2016, the government has been focusing on encouraging people to move towards digital mode of payments. Railways had waived off service charge on booking of e-tickets through website and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had in budget announced to extend it further. It was extended till June 30.
“This will incur us a revenue loss of Rs 500 crore. We would like it not to remain waived off after June 30 but it depends on the government. We have been taking up with the government but it wants more and incentives to be provided to people to encourage digital transactions. Instructions have been issued that all ministries should give all kinds of incentives to people for online transactions,” said Railway Board Member Traffic Mohd Jamshed.
Railway has been offering incentives like 5 percent discount on passengers buying ticket from automatic ticket vending machines, 0.5 percent concessions for monthly season tickets (MSTs) using online payment, free insurance of Rs 10 lakh for all passengers booking e-tickets, service charge waiver on e-tickets and 5 percent discount of on e-catering.
“We have put our case and will wait for a reply from the finance ministry. It is a huge loss of Rs 500 crore that railway is going to incur,” said Jamshed.
Passengers are made to pay Rs 20 per ticket as service charge on a non-AC ticket booked through IRCTC website while Rs 40 is charged from AC traveler. Passengers buying tickets from counters don’t have to pay service charge.
The decision to continue with no service charge on e-ticket is part of Centre’s big push towards digital and cashless economy.