The Indian Railways tickets purchased through the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation or IRCTC are set to get costlier from today i.e. September 1, according to an order. The impact will only be seen on e-tickets bought through the IRCTC website as the service charge laid on them will be restored from the mentioned date. According to the order issued, the IRCTC will levy a service charge of Rs 15 on tickets for non-AC classes and Rs 30 for AC classes. This would make the tickets for the both the classes more expensive.
Not just this, the Goods and Services Tax (GST) will be applicable separately. This means that the passengers will now have to shell out more if they are purchasing e-tickets thorugh the IRCTC website. The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation had withdrawn the services charges levied on these tickets about three years ago in a bid to promote digital payments in India.
Back then, IRCTC used to levy a service charge of Rs 20 on every non-AC e-ticket and Rs 40 for every AC ticket. However, the charges have now been restored after the approval of Railway Board in August. The approval came after the IRCTC made a case for it and the matter was also examined.
In a letter dated 30 August, the Board said the IRCTC had made a “detailed case” for the restoration of service charges and the matter had been examined by the “competent authority”. It further said the finance ministry had contended that the service charges waiver was a temporary one and the railway ministry could restart it.
But, what comes as a good news for Railways passenger is that a discounted fare Scheme for AC Chair Car and Executive Class sitting accommodation will implemented from the end of this month. The scheme shall be applicable for AC Chair car and Executive chair car accommodation like in Shatabdi, Gatimaan, Tejas, Double Decker, Intercity trains etc, a statement from Railway Ministry said.
“The Powers to discount these fares is delegated to Principal Chief Commercial Managers of Zonal Railways. Only trains with monthly occupancy of less than 50% in the previous year are eligible for discount,” it said. As part of this offer, a discount of 25 per cent will be given on the base fare. Reservation fee, superfast charge, GST, etc., as applicable will be separate.