With an aim to promote digital and cashless transactions, passengers will not be charged merchant discount rate (MDR) for booking railway tickets through debit cards for transactions up to Rs 1 lakh. These transactions include those made at railway ticketing counters as well as through the website of the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC). A communication in this regards has been issued to banks by the department of financial services. “Ministry of railways had informed department of expenditure that all proceeds from sale of tickets through IRCTC website/counters go to Consolidated Fund of India through ministry of railways and such transactions should be considered as government receipts. The benefits on government transactions must be passed on to the public, and they should not face MDR charges while making payments to government,” said a statement released on Thursday.
The government paid a one-off Rs 88 crore to IRCTC, as announced in the Union Budget, to compensate for the loss of revenue for not charging service charge to customers for online booking of tickets. Separately, the transporter has initiated the facility of printing ticket details in local language on unreserved tickets issued through the unreserved ticketing system.