Train passengers will continue to get benefits of a service charge exemption on tickets booked online till September. The government had waived service charges after demonetization in November last year to encourage digital modes of booking. The service charges on booking train tickets online through IRCTC range from Rs 20 to Rs 40 per ticket.
To promote digital modes of payment, the government decided post demonetization that service charge on online booking of train tickets would be withdrawn for tickets booked from November 23, 2016, to March 31, 2017.
Later, the government extended the exemption period to June 30. Now, the exemption on service charge has been further extended till September-end this year, said a senior Railway Ministry official. The government has done this to help passengers and promote payments made through digital modes. IRCTC, the ticketing agency of the railways, is expected to lose about Rs. 500 crore a year due to the exemption.
The Railway Ministry has written to the Finance Ministry seeking reimbursement of the loss. IRCTC shares half of the service charge revenue with the railways.