Railways made bumper earnings by ending discount on tickets

Railways made bumper earnings by ending discount on tickets

Indian Railways: Right to Information (RTI) Questions asked under the law have revealed that Indian Railways has earned additional revenue of more than Rs 5,800 crore from senior citizens since the withdrawal of concessions given to senior citizens in train fares. On March 20, 2020, after the nationwide lockdown was announced due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Railway Ministry had withdrawn the concession given to senior citizens in train fares. Till that time, Railways used to give 50 percent discount in train fare to women passengers and 40 percent to male and transgender senior citizens. After the removal of this exemption, senior citizens have to pay the same fare as other passengers. As per railway norms, men and transgenders aged 60 years and above and women aged 58 years and above are considered senior citizens. The picture regarding the situation after the end of the concession in passenger fare given to the elderly has become clear from the answers received on some RTI applications.

Information received from ITI

Madhya Pradesh resident Chandra Shekhar Gaur has filed applications under the RTI Act at different times and has obtained information that from March 20, 2020 to January 31, 2024, Railways has earned additional revenue of more than Rs 5,875 crore under this head. He said that I filed three applications under the RTI Act. In the first application, the Railways provided me with additional revenue data from March 20, 2020 to March 31, 2022. In the second application, data from April 1, 2022 to March 31, 2023 was revealed. Whereas from the third application filed in February 2024, I got details from April 1, 2023 to January 31, 2024. Sharing copies of RTI replies, he said that Railways has given data on the basis of year and gender. With their help we can easily find out the additional revenue collected by the Railways from March 20, 2020 to January 31, 2024.

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How many people traveled by train

These copies show that in a period of about four years, about 13 crore men, nine crore women and 33,700 transgender senior citizens took train journeys, generating a total revenue of about Rs 13,287 crore. Chandra Shekhar Gaur said that after calculating the concession of 50 percent for women and 40 percent concession for male and transgender senior citizen passengers, which was earlier implemented, this amount comes to more than Rs 5,875 crore. Questions related to restoration of train fare concessions to senior citizens after the end of the pandemic have been raised at various forums, including both Houses of Parliament. However, Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnav, without giving any direct answer to this, had said that Indian Railways gives 55 percent discount on train fare to every railway passenger. He had said in a press conference in January 2024 that if the price of a train ticket to a destination is Rs 100, then the Railways is charging only Rs 45 from the passenger. In this way, a concession of Rs 55 is being given on the journey. In this context, Gaur said that the present government has only withdrawn the concessions instead of making any new offer, hence this shows that before Covid-19, more concessions were being given on the purchase of train tickets than Rs 55.
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