Piyush Goyal led Indian Railways as part of the Railway Board's 100-day agenda for the national carrier is carving out a plan to enable passengers to voluntarily give up, either the entire subsidy or a part of it that is the component of the railway ticket prices.Interestingly, the behemoth Indian Railways, on an average manages to collect just 57% of the total cost involved in carrying out passenger transport services from train tickets.
As per a leading business daily report, in a case when the train passenger gives up the subsidy, the proposed class-wise computation that would be applied on the base fare will make train travel in classes such as AC-2 Tier relatively more costly.
And the increased cost which the rail passenger will thus bear (by foregoing the subsidy component of their train ticket price) will be put to provide better and modern railways infrastructure to its customers.
It is to be noted that subsidy offered by Indian Railways comes as a cross-subsidy from the department's own freight business and is not provided by the exchequer.Policymakers in the system are suggesting ways of its implementation and one of the ideas suggested is the availability of reservation forms at the station counters that will include the option for train travellers to choose the "give it up" option. Also, there is hailed a view that foregoing the subsidy component does not mean you can get a confirmed ticket, and if it does happen it will be similar to the Tatkal Scheme with a different name.
Nonetheless, the system will be far more convenient if made available online on IRCTC at par with the option of concessions for senior citizens. Through the 'give it up' scheme already in force since July 2017 for senior citizen train passengers, the carrier earned an extra amount of Rs. 78 crore as the option had been availed by as many as 48 lakh travellers. The scheme enables senior citizens to give up on the allowed concession for them either in part or full.