Passengers fare well, but for additional charges on tickets

Written by fe Bureau | New Delhi | Updated: Feb 27 2013, 13:06pm hrs
While sparing passengers a fare hike, rail minister PK Bansal increased several other charges on tickets, which would help railways mobilise R881 crore to partially absorb the impact of a higher fuel bill.

For 2013-14, the railway minister increased supplementary charges for super-fast trains, reservation fee, clerkage charge, cancellation charge and tatkal charge. This means that for travelling AC-3 class, the reservation fee has increased from R15 to R40, while tatkal charges have risen from R200 to R250. Clerkage charge, in case of cancellation of waiting list and RAC tickets for this class, have risen from R20 to R30.

The increase in super-fast charges will help railways garner R200 crore in 2013-14. Similarly, changes in reservation fee, clerkage charge, cancellation charge and tatkal charge will help it raise R65 crore, R143 crore, R73 crore and R400 crore, respectively.

Since passenger fares were revised only in January, I do not intend to pass on an additional burden and railways will absorb the impact of R850 crore, he said, adding an annual increase of 5-6% in fares over 10 years can generate about R1 lakh crore. However, to simplify the fee structure, he removed the enhanced reservation fee, having already discontinued the development charge last month.

In January, the minister had effected an across-the-board hike in passenger fares that would net R6,600 crore a year. The revised passenger earnings target is proposed at R32,500 crore, or a reduction of R3,573 crore over the budget estimate of 2012-13.