The Indian railways on Tuesday reported a rise of over 12 per cent in its cashless revenue stream generated from the reserved segment of e-tickets till August, 2017 from the period of 2016-17. The massive rise in cashless revenue stream from the reserved segment category was attributed to various steps initiated by the railways, a railway ministry official said. “The cashless revenue from reserved segment (e-ticket) has increased from 62.55 per cent in 2015-16 and 64.76 per cent in 2016-17 to around 76 per cent till August 28, 2017,” a railway ministry official said. “The online booked ticket constitute to about 64.5 per cent of total tickets (till August 28, 2017).” According to the railways, about 13 lakh tickets are booked every day against a reserved accommodation of 10.5 lakh berths across all classes.
The official added that even in the unreserved tickets segment the income through digital payment has gone up by two per cent. “The railways sold about 6.5 per cent unreserved tickets by August 2016, which has now gone up to 8.99 per cent till September 30, 2017,” he said. Even in the freight segment, the revenue from cashless mode increased from 97 per cent to 99.8 per cent. Digital payment in booking tickets in railways was promoted after Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 8 last year announced to scrap Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes to curb “black money and corruption”. In a slew of measures to promote digital payment, the railways had on November 23, 2016 withdrawn the service charges from tickets booked through the Indian Rail Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC).
The railway official also said the service has been extended till March 31, 2018. After demonetisation, the railways had withdrawn the service charge of Rs 30 applicable on transactions against credit or debit cards at the reservation counters. To promote digital payment, Indian Railways also provided a discount of 0.5 per cent on season tickets purchased digitally. Beside these, the railways also provided a discount of five per cent on payment made online for opting services like ordering food, booking retiring room. The railways and the IRCTC also slashed all additional charges being levied either by the Indian Railways or IRCTC on e-tickets.