Railway passengers have reason to cheer! Rail tickets booked through debit cards are set to get cheaper! That’s because Piyush Goyal-led Ministry of Railways has decided that the Merchant Discount Rate (MDR) charges will not be charged on booking railway tickets on payment made through Debit Cards for a transaction value up to Rs 1 lakh. This would be applicable for tickets purchased at the ticketing counters of the stations and through IRCTC website. In a bid to promote digital and cashless transactions the department of financial services under Ministry of Finance has already issued instructions to the banks on February 26, 2018.
The department of expenditure has been informed by Railway Ministry that all the earnings from sale of railway tickets through IRCTC web portal and railway station ticket counters go to Consolidated Fund of India through Ministry of Railways. In addition to this, the Railway ministry also said that such transactions should be considered as Government receipts. According to the Railway Ministry, the benefits on government transactions must be passed without any MDR charges levied on it, to the public.
Meanwhile, Kannada became the first language in which unreserved tickets were printed under Indian Railways’ initiative to print ticket details in local language on unreserved tickets, issued through Unreserved Ticketing System (UTS). The facility which was tested in Mysuru, Bengaluru and Hubballi stations of South Western Railways, has been extended to all other railway stations across Karnataka March 2, 2018 onwards.
Recently, South Western Railways launched an unreserved ticketing system in UTS mobile app, for suburban rail users across Karnakata. In this feature, the railway passengers can simply book their tickets and instead of showing the physical copy of the ticket to the TTE, they can show the ticket on their phone. As this feature prevent passengers from standing in long queues, it helps them to save time and energy.
One another interesting feature of this is that the tickets booked through this app will be valid for two hours since the time of booking and with a cost of a nominal fee, the passenger also has the option to cancel the ticket in case of any emergency. Also, the tickets can be booked one hour prior to the railway journey. In addition to this, the railway passengers travelling outside the limits of South Western Railways, can print their tickets using Automatic Ticket Vending Machines.