Consider giving up your rail fare subsidy, says the government

The success of the 'Give-It-Up' campaign on cooking gas subsidy has prompted the Indian government to ask Indian citizens to voluntarily forego the subsidy they get on railway tickets.

The scheme would be launched next month by the railways plans, under which it would offer two "slabs" to surrender 50% and 100% of the subsidy amount.

Presently, the national carrier bears 43% of the cost of all rail fares, leading to a loss of about Rs 30,000 crore per year because of the subsidies.

Just so the travellers know why they are being asked to give up their subsidy, the railways had started printing a message, that "Indian Railways recovers only 57% of cost of travel on an average" on computerised tickets.

However, unlike the cooking gas subsidy, giving up the railway fare subsidy would be a burden on the passenger’s pocket, because of the huge difference in the cost of the ticket. As per rough estimates, if the cost of a 3AC ticket from New Delhi to Mumbai on a superfast train is Rs 1570, it could rise up to Rs 2,750 after giving up the subsidy.

Similarly, a ticket in 2AC in a similar train will cost around Rs 3,990 after giving up subsidy instead of the subsidised price of Rs 2,275.

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