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Indian Railways BIG Update: Restoration of Concessions For Senior Citizens on Cards, But With A New Twist
Indian Railways Latest News Update: Railway ministry is considering tweaking the age criteria by extending the concessional fare to those above 70 years.
New Delhi: After facing flak, the Indian Railways is reportedly mulling to reinstate concessions on ticket prices that were provided to senior citizens. Though an official confirmation is awaited, sources asserted that the ministry is considering tweaking the age criteria by extending the concessional fare to those above 70 years, as against the earlier 58 for women and 60 for men.
In 2020, owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, the centre had discontinued the concessions to discourage the movement of the public to curb the spread of the deadly virus. Before being withdrawn, the senior citizen concession was extended to women aged 58 and above and men aged 60 and above. While women were eligible for 50 per cent concession, men and transgenders could avail 40 per cent discount in all classes.
What Will Change Now
- The concession will be limited to passengers travelling on normal and sleeper classes only.
- “The logic is that if we limit it to sleeper and general classes, we cover 70 per cent of travellers. These are just some of the options we are considering and nothing has been finalised,” a source said.
- Those travelling on AC bogies won’t be allowed to avail the benefit.
- The concessional fare will be extended to those above 70 years, as against the earlier 58 for women and 60 for men.
- Earlier, the Railways had tried to encourage people to give up their senior citizen concession, but it was not a success.
- Last week, Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, in reply to a question in Parliament, said the cost of granting concessions weighs heavily on the Railways.
‘Premium Tatkal’ Scheme on Cards
Another option the Railways is considering is to introduce the ‘Premium Tatkal’ scheme across all trains. It is a quota introduced by the Railways which reserves a few seats with a dynamic fare pricing. This quota is for the convenience of last-minute travellers willing to shell out a little extra. The Premium Tatkal fare comprises the basic train fare plus additional Tatkal charges.
This will help to generate higher revenue, which could offset the burden of the concessions. This scheme is currently applicable in around 80 trains.
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