The Indian Railways has extended the date for the service charge exemption on railway tickets booked online till June 30. This decision has been taken by the Indian railways in order to help the passengers and encourage the online ticket bookings and the payments made through digital modes. The service charges have been withdrawn fro the tickets booked from November 23, 2016, to March 31, 2017.
The service charges on the tickets booked through online mode using the IRCTC websites ranges from Rs 20 to 40 per ticket. After the decision of demonetisation was implemented, the service charges were waived off to encourage and promote digital modes of booking. The government has decided that the existing incentives will continue and there will be no change until June 30.
“Instructions have been received by us from the Ministry of Information advising the organisation to extend the incentives at least until June 30, 2017,” said a Railway Ministry official.
For the benefit of the railway passengers, an approximate amount of Rs 184 crore has not been realised from the service charges and service tax on the railway tickets booked through online modes from November 23, 2016, to February 28, 2017,
As per the website statistics, around 12 lakh train tickets are being purchased on the IRCTC website on a daily basis which accounts for almost 55 per cent of entire railway bookings in the country. According to the revenue collected in the last financial year, about Rs 540 crore of IRCTC’s revenue of over Rs 1,500 crore came from ticket bookings. This also contributes to the dividend paid to the railways.