Railways won’t resume concessional fares for senior citizens, minister tells Parliament

Published on Jul 20, 2022 08:44 PM IST

The Indian Railways has, however, continued concession in fare to four categories of persons with disabilities, eleven categories of patients and students.

The minimum age for availing this was 58 years for women and 60 years for men.(HT)
The minimum age for availing this was 58 years for women and 60 years for men.(HT)
Written by Kanishka Singharia | Edited by Sohini Goswami

The Railways, which did away with concessions for senior citizens in March 2020, will not be restoring them anytime soon, its minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said in a written reply in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday.

Vaishnaw said that concessions were continued for various categories of citizens despite the Railways facing repeated losses, but resuming discounts for the rest is "not desirable".

The minister said this in reply to a question on whether the Railways was looking into proposals to bring back the concessions specifically for senior citizens, students and sports persons with the easing of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Vaishnaw said the Indian Railways had been bearing more than 50 per cent of the cost of travel on an average for all passengers, including senior citizens on account of lower fare structure for passenger services.

“Apart from this, due to Covid-19, passenger earnings for the last two years is less in comparison to 2019- 2020. These have a long-term impact on the financial health of the Railways. Cost of granting concessions weighs heavily on Railways, hence, extending scope of concessions to all categories of passengers, including senior citizens, is not desirable," Vaishnaw said.

The Indian Railways has, however, continued concession in fare to four categories of persons with disabilities, eleven categories of patients and students.

In March too, the Railway minister had expressed the inability of the ministry to restore the concession fares because of the shortfall in revenues of the Railways.

Prior to the pandemic, Indian Railways used to offer 50 per cent discount to female passengers and 40 per cent to male passengers across all classes.

The minimum age for availing this discount was 58 years for women and 60 years for men.

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