The IRCTC has started charging convenience fees on tickets booked online from September 1.

Booking train tickets online gets costlier as IRCTC restores service chargesRepresentative image
news Railways Monday, September 02, 2019 - 12:15

Booking train tickets online has now gotten costlier with Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation restoring the service charges and convenience on e-tickets. The railways will now charge Rs 15 for non-AC and Rs 30 for the AC coaches’ tickets from September 1. Goods and Services Tax (GST) will be applicable separately on each ticket. 

Meanwhile, for payment made through UPI or BHIM applications, the convenience fee will be lesser – Rs 10 and Rs 20 for non-AC classes and AC classes, respectively. Till the software for UPI/BHIM is developed, payment through UPI/BHIM will be incentivised by offering prizes through a lottery on a regular basis, a report by ANI said. 

The railways earlier used to levy Rs 20 for tickets for non air-conditioned coaches and Rs 40 for tickets for air-conditioned coaches as service charges. In November 2016, the service charges were withdrawn after demonetisation to promote digital payments. A railway official told IANS that after the service charges were discontinued, the IRCTC saw a drop of over 26 per cent in Internet ticketing revenue.

The online booking of tickets by rail passengers has grown exponentially and over 70% of the tickets are now being booked online. The growth in this activity has been an impressive 12.5% year on year in recent years.

In August, the Railway board had announced that the IRCTC had made a ‘detailed case’ for the restoration of service charges and the matter was examined by authorities. The Finance Ministry had reportedly stated that the waiver of service charges in November 2016 was temporary and could be restarted.

Last month, Indian Railways had announced that it will be giving a discount of up to 25 per cent to passengers on ticket fares, in a bid to fill the vacant seats in trains and meet the challenges posed by the roadways and airways. The decision will be applicable in air-conditioned executive class and chair cars of trains like Shatabdi Express, Gatiman Express, Tejas Express, Double Decker and Intercity Express.

With IANS inputs

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