Rail cancellation fees need to be hiked in phases: Bansal
Bansal also invited investments from corporates to improve amenities at railway stations.
Replying to a debate on the Rail Budget 2013-14 in the Lok Sabha amid a walkout by Opposition parties, Bansal said his Ministry would focus on spending "limited resources" on rail safety and better services during the year and modernise stations through corporate help.
The railways would require Rs 10 lakh crore for maintenance of rolling stock and upgradation of rail infrastructure and safety requirements.
The budget and the Demand for Grants were passed by voice vote, after Opposition parties, including the BJP, Left, JD-U, Shiv Sena, AIADMK, Trinamool Congress and BJD, walked out accusing the Minister of focussing only on Congress-ruled states and ignoring the others.
Referring to the problem of touts, he said ticket bookings are open for 120 days and these touts buy the tickets in bulk and sell them for 119 days and return the unsold ones on the last day paying "minimal" cancellation charges.
"Therefore, is it not necessary that gradually the cancellation charges are increased so that these people (touts) are kept out and only bonafide passengers get tickets which are not costly," Bansal asked.
"Later a situation could be created when these cancellation charges could be gradually brought down. But such a situation has to be created first," he said.
Be the first to comment.