Over eleven lakh senior citizens gave up their fare concession between July 22 and November 30 last year, the government said today. In a written reply in Lok Sabha, Minister of State for Railways Rajen Gohain said while the option for giving up 100 per cent concession in passenger fare for senior citizens was already available since 2016, the railways extended the system to allow such passengers to give up 50 per cent of their concession in 2017.
“5.67 lakh senior citizens gave up 100 per cent of their concession in these four months while 5.81 lakh such passengers gave up 50 per cent of their concession”, said Gohain. A total of 11.48 lakh senior citizens thus gave up their concessions in the given period.
The scheme was launched to reduce the nearly Rs. 1,300 crore subsidy burden of the Railways in the senior citizen category.
As of now, Railways bears 43 per cent of the cost of train fare and incurs a loss of about Rs. 30,000 crore a year in subsidising passenger fares, out of which Rs. 1,600 crore is for concessional fares.
Railways recovers only 57 per cent of expenses incurred for passenger transportation through sale of tickets of all classes.