IRCTC has recently introduced on-the-spot billing on-board trains through point of sale (POS) handheld machines. With this initiative, passengers buying food items on board trains will be able to receive instant bills upon purchase.
Indian Railways looks to put a stop to overcharging for food on trains! The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), the catering arm of Indian Railways has recently introduced on-the-spot billing on-board running trains through point of sale (POS) handheld machines. With this initiative, passengers buying food items on board trains will be able to receive instant bills upon purchase. According to a press release issued by IRCTC, the bill will be generated on-the-spot through the POS machines for every payment made towards purchasing a food item. This system will make the catering tariff system very lucid and transparent. It will increase the accountability of the system as passengers will also be completely aware of their bill payments. According to IRCTC, over 2,000 PoS machines have been introduced on Mail/Express trains across the Indian Railways network, allowing passengers to make payments via debit and credit cards as well.
Recently, some complaints from passengers came up, regarding overcharging by the vendors in trains. Considering this scenario and in order to solve the problem, IRCTC has been continuously taking passenger-friendly steps. This is to ensure smooth catering services as well as disseminate crucial information for passenger travelling in the trains. The advent of POS machines and instant bills will significantly reduce the complaints of overcharging, believes Indian Railways. Implementing the POS machine system, IRCTC has instructed all licensees managing the Mail/ Express trains to ensure the availability of minimum eight POS machines per rake in the train for the billing of every transaction of food items. Presently, 2191 number of POS machines have been made available in the trains with the pantry cars. IRCTC plans to increase the number of POS machines to be undertaken for complete coverage.
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For checking smooth operations and proper availability of the POS machines, a special inspection drive is also being launched on all Mail/Express trains, starting from January 26, which will go till February 15. This drive will be conducted to ensure that regulars bills are being issued to all the passengers in case of purchase of food items on-board trains. In addition to this, if any case of deficiency comes to light, a suitable penalty will be imposed on the caterers.
Recently, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal instructed that menu of food items should be printed on tin plates along with prices inclusive of GST. He also said that passengers should not pay for food unless they get a bill for the items they purchase.