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These concessions were abolished by the central government after the Kovid-19 pandemic started in March 2020. Earlier, Railways used to give 40 per cent concession in fares to men above 60 years and 50 per cent concession to women above 58 years .
New Delhi: Parliamentary Standing Committee has urged the Ministry of Railways to resume train fare concession for senior citizens traveling in AC sleeper and third class classes as the COVID-19 situation returns to normal. It was said that this will help weak and really needy citizens.
According to a report in The Times of India, this is the second time that a committee related to railways headed by Radha Mohan Singh ‘consensually’ considered restoring concessions to senior citizens, especially in sleeper class and third AC tickets.’ is recommended.
These concessions were abolished by the government after the Kovid-19 pandemic started in March 2020. Earlier, Railways used to give 40 percent concession in fares to men above 60 years and 50 percent concession to women above 58 years. These concessions were given in the fares of all classes of trains like Mail, Express, Rajdhani, Shatabdi and Duronto.
The parliamentary committee has reiterated this recommendation after the information given by the Railways, where it said that the Kovid situation has now become normal and the Railways has achieved normal growth.
In response to a question, the Ministry of Railways said, ‘The Kovid-19 epidemic has adversely affected the financial condition of the Railways. The government has given a subsidy of Rs 59,837 crore on passenger tickets in 2019-20. That is, an average concession of 53 percent has been given to each person traveling. This subsidy continues for all passengers. Concessions beyond this subsidy amount continue for many categories such as the specially abled, students and patients.
It may be known that in September 2022, the Modi government at the Center refused to restore the exemption given to senior citizens in several categories of tickets.
In the Lok Sabha, Union Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnav said that the Kovid epidemic has had a long-term impact on the economic condition of the Railways, in such a situation, it is not desirable to increase the scope of exemption in fares of many categories, including elderly
Even in March 2022, Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnav had said in a written reply to a question in Parliament, ‘Total travel time during 2020-2021 compared to 2019-2020 (pre-Corona) due to the challenges caused by Kovid-19 Passenger revenue has fallen. An exception in prices for older people increases the cost of railways, so it is not currently possible to give a concession in train ticket price to all other categories of passengers including the elderly.
It may be noted that in May 2022, it was revealed under the Right to Information (RTI) that the Railways had earned an additional revenue of over Rs 1,500 crore from senior passengers in two years from March 2020, after the onset of the coronavirus pandemic . The concession given to the elderly on tickets was suspended.
According to the RTI reply, the total revenue earned by senior passengers during this period is Rs 3,464 crore, which includes an additional Rs 1,500 crore earned due to suspension of the concession.
The RTI response on gender-wise revenue in the total revenue from senior citizens said that Rs 2,082 crore was received from male passengers, Rs 1,381 crore from female passengers and Rs 45.58 lakh from transgender people.
The concessions that were suspended since March 2020 after the country was hit by the Corona virus epidemic, have been suspended until now.
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Categories: India, Politics