IRCTC Waives Off Service Fee For eTickets Till March 2018!
IRCTC's decision comes under the push for cashless transactions.
In a major decision, IRCTC has decided to extend their service fee waiver on online tickets till March, 2018.
This means that passengers can keep on enjoying cheaper online tickets. Directly, this will lead to more cashless push under Digital India vision.
But, will it lead to more losses for Indian Railways?
No Service Fee Till March, 2018 on eTickets: IRCTC
Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), which handles Internet based bookings of tickets for Indian Railways, has announced that under cashless push, there will be no service charge on eTickets till March, 2018.
Immediately after demonetization kicked in last November, IRCTC had announced waiver of service fee on all forms of online tickets for three months.
Then, this waiver was extended till June 30th, and then September 30th was the last day of this waiver.
Now, this has been extended for another 4 months, till March, 2018. This was declared by IRCTC in a notification dated September 29th, and was accessed by media yesterday.
Rs 20-40 (Rs 20 for sleeper class tickets, and Rs 40 for AC class tickets) is charged per online ticket by IRCTC, and around 10-13 lakh tickets are booked per day on the IRCTC website.
No Service Fee = More Loss For IRCTC?
It may sound strange, but service fee charged by IRCTC on online train tickets constitute a massive 33% share in the overall earnings by IRCTC, churned in via online tickets.
This means that for every Rs 100 earned by IRCTC from online tickets, Rs 33 comes from service fee. Last financial year, total of Rs 1500 crore was earned by IRCTC from online tickets, out of which Rs 540 crore came in via service fee.
Now, in the absence of this, IRCTC is literally losing out 33% of their overall income.
Since demonetization, when service fee was waived off, IRCTC has lost Rs 184 crore, which were supposed to be paid by passengers for online bookings. This data is for the period November 23, 2016 to February 28, 2017, during which service charge was waived off by IRCTC.
In fact, Railways had sought compensation from the Govt., on the account of mounting losses due to no service charge.
In March this year, BB Verma, the new railway financial commissioner, had said, “.. However, the waiver of service charge is a cause for concern as it may affect revenue of about ~500 crore for IRCTC annually.”
We will keep you updated as we receive more information on this matter.