Give Up Ticket Subsidy to Boost Railway’s Earnings: Suresh Prabhu

Presently, a tentative last-minute discount of 10 per cent on vacant berths is being discussed.

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Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu has suggested changes, like asking people to voluntarily give up fare subsidy, special fares for some trains, last-minute discounts on vacant berths, as ways of boosting the earnings of Indian Railways.

Prabhu sent his suggestions to the Railway Board on 24 November and relevant policy interventions will be decided in a few days.


However, convincing people to give up fare subsidy may prove to be tricky.

In the Petroleum Ministry case, bank accounts of customers were linked with their LPG connection, so convincing people to give up cooking gas subsidy was easier.

Since the same thing cannot happen with Railways, a new structure is being worked on and it will start with a project only for e-tickets.

The Railway has stuck to its guns in saying that tickets only cover 57 per cent of the journey, giving the impression that 43 per cent is the ticket’s subsidy. However, the current accounting system of the department does not give exact causes.

Prabhu has stressed the need for special fares on the Rajdhani/Shatabdi routes that haven’t been seeing great footfall.


Presently, a tentative last-minute discount of 10 per cent on vacant berths is being discussed.

Prabhu said rationalising the “flexi-fare” for getting passengers to fill the vacant berths would be a good idea. Though the issue of informing the public about the last minute vacancies is still to be looked into.

The ideas are implementable in various forms according to senior officials as the Railway Board found them useful and doable.

Currently, the Aadhaar card is being linked with various passenger concessions, starting with senior citizens.

(Source: Indian Express)

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Topics:  Suresh Prabhu   Railway   Railway Board 

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