New Delhi: In a major development, the Indian Railways has decided against restoring the concessions on fares for senior citizens and sports persons. In a written reply in the Lok Sabha, Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said the fares in most of the classes were already very low and Railways has suffered a recurring loss due to low fares and concessions to different category of passengers.Also Read – Go First Delhi-Guwahati Flight Diverted to Jaipur After Windshield Cracks: Reports
The minister further added that the Indian Railways was already bearing more that 50 percent of the cost of travel on an average for all passengers including senior citizens on account of lower fare structure for passenger services. Also Read – IRCTC Issues New Rates For Breakfast/Lunch And Dinner on Premium Trains. Check Here
The reply came after the minister was asked whether the Railways was looking to revoke ban on concessions specifically for senior citizens, students and sports persons with the easing of the Covid-19 pandemic. Also Read – Railways Scraps Service Charge on Food Items, But Here’s A Catch. IRCTC’s Latest Circular Inside
Read Ashwini Vaishnaw Statement Below:
“Apart from this, due to COVID-19, passenger earnings for the last two years is less in comparison to 2019-20. These have long-term impact on the financial health of the railways. Cost of granting concessions weighs heavily on the railways, hence extending scope of concessions to all categories of passengers, including senior citizens, is not desirable.
“In spite of these challenges, Indian Railways has continued concession in fare to four categories of persons with disabilities, 11 categories of patients and students,” the minister said.
He also informed that the number of senior citizen passengers travelled in reserved classes during 2019-20, 2020-21 and 2021-22 are 6.18 crore, 1.90 crore and 5.55 crore, respectively.
The minister attributed the decrease in travelling of number of senior citizen passengers during 2020-21 and 2021-22 due to the pandemic.
“In 2019-20, 22.62 lakh senior citizen passengers had opted to give up concession scheme in passenger fare and gave up concessions for the sustained development of Railways with better facilities,” he said.
(Quotes From Agency)