Indian Railways has decided to restore the service fee charges, almost 3 years after they were withdrawn to promote digital payments. This means that that the e-tickets booked through the IRCTC website will pinch your pocket more.
IRCTC train tickets to get costlier! Indian Railways passengers take note – The online train tickets booked through IRCTC next-generation e-ticketing website are likely to become costlier. In a significant move, Indian Railways has decided to restore the service fee charges, almost three years after they were withdrawn in order to promote digital payments. This means that that the e-tickets booked through the IRCTC website will pinch your pocket more.
According to a recent PTI report, the Railway Board has given its approval to the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), the e-ticketing arm of Indian Railways, to restore the system of levying service charges for passengers booking online tickets. An IRCTC official told Financial Express Online that it is not yet certain whether the service charges on the IRCTC e-tickets will be restored to the previous amount. IRCTC is yet to receive any official order on restoring service charges, the official told Financial Express Online.
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Why will IRCTC e-ticket prices go up?
According to the report, in a letter dated August 3, the Railway Board has stated the following:
- IRCTC had made a detailed case for the restoration of service charge on the booking of e-tickets, and the concerned matter has been examined by the competent authority.
- The letter further stated that the Ministry of Finance has contended that the process of waiving of service charges was a temporary move and that the Railway Ministry could begin levying service charges on sale of IRCTC e-tickets.
- Taking into consideration the advice given by the Ministry of Finance, the competent authority had decided that IRCTC may take a suitable decision on the imposition or restoration of convenience fee/service charges and the quantum is to be levied
According to railway officials, after the service charges were discontinued, IRCTC saw a 26% drop in the internet ticketing revenue in the financial year 2016-2017. Previously, IRCTC used to levy a service charge of Rs 20 on every e-ticket for non air-conditioned coach and Rs 40 on every e-ticket for an air-conditioned coach.