Buying train tickets online could soon be cheaper as the government has proposed to scrap or substantially reduce the service charge on such bookings. The Indian Railway Catering & Tourism Corporation, a subsidiary of the Indian Railways that handles online bookings, charges Rs 40 on every ticket purchased for air-conditioned classes and Rs 20 for non-AC sleeper classes.
IRCTC said in an update on its website. The government demonetised high-denomination currency notes on November 9. In the wake of the cash crunch in the country because of the demonetisation, the railways wants to digitise its entire payment receiving mechanism.
The move is also a priority on the Prime Minister’s cashless economy project, which is being spearheaded by Union ministers Piyush Goyal and Ravi Shankar Prasad.
“We have suggested IRCTC either do away or substantially reduce the service charge as the Prime Minister wants that online transactions should not be expensive than over-the-counter payments,” a senior government official said.
“They could expand their on-board catering business, which is much more profitable, and look at other avenues like setting up premium lounges at stations.”