Indian Railways is reportedly mulling to reinstate giving away concession on fares to senior citizens, a facility the carrier had done away with during the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to some sources, the national carrier – Indian Railways has been considering putting concession for senior citizens back in the business, however, this time with some changes.
Until before the Covid-19 pandemic struck in India in 2020, the national transporter extended a 50% concession to female travelers of ages 58 and above, and a 40% discount to males and transgenders of ages 60 years and above.
However, the concession was waived off during the pandemic to adjust and reduce the financial burden on Indian Railways at the time.
However, recent information from sources have stated that the government can change its terms and conditions and reinstate the concession now, with some moderations like the age criteria.
Sources have stated that the concession could be given to senior citizens of ages 70 years and more, that too to the ones travelling via non-AC classes like Sleeper and General coaches.
The logic is that if we restrict it to sleeper and general categories, then we will accommodate 70 per cent passengers. These are some of the options that we are looking at and nothing has been finalised,” stated a source.
Another source said, “We understand that these concessions help the elderly and we have never said that we are going to do away with it completely. We are reviewing it and will take a decision on it. Sources indicated that the Railway Board is contemplating to change the age criteria for concession of senior citizens and make it available only to those above 70 years of age. This will limit the obligations of the Railways.”
Further, there are talks of introducing a new feature during ticket booking, called the ‘Premium Tatkal’ scheme, which will allow travellers book tickets during the last minute at a slightly higher price as this range of train tickets will involve dynamic fare pricing.