Firstly, we have witnessed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s give it up LPG subsidy initiative for the moneyed consumers to give up their cooking gas subsidies, now the Railways department is planning the same idea for its passengers as well. According to a report in the Times of India, the Indian government wants to give an option to the rail passengers to “voluntarily forego the subsidy on tickets”. As per the Times of India, the plan will be rolled out from next month.
The Railways Department is planning to launch the initiative from the next month. According to a source, the railway ministry would offer two slabs of the subsidy surrender of 50% and 100% of the subsidy amount. The Railway Board Member (Traffic) Mohd Jamshed had said that the Indian Railways only recovers 57 percent of the cost of travel on an average that now is replicated on passenger tickets purchased from online or counters. Previously, the Railways department tolerates 43% of the cost of all rail fares even as it acquires a loss of about Rs 30,000 crore every year in subsiding passenger fares.
Whereas passengers are traveling by suburban and short-haul trains account for 52 percent of the traffic, and their share in whole passenger incomes has been just about 6-7 percent. In recent times, a passenger traveling from Jammu to New Delhi noticed the message written on his ticket about the 43 percent subsidy tolerated by the Railways department during his train journey. Later, he decided to give up the subsidy and sent a cheque of Rs 950 to IRCTC for the same train journey experienced by him and his spouse on the Jammu Rajdhani. Interestingly, the passenger sent the cheque along with a letter addressing the railway minister saying that “he will never avail such financial benefits in future”.