Concession in Railways – Reasons for abolition and non-resumption of concessions to senior citizens: Lok Sabha QA
GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
MINISTRY OF RAILWAYS
STARRED QUESTION NO. 59
TO BE ANSWERED ON 20.07.2022
CONCESSIONS IN RAILWAYS
*59. SHRI MOHAMMED FAIZAL P.P.:
SHRI ANTO ANTONY:
Will the Minister of RAILWAYS be pleased to state:
(a) the reasons for abolition and non-resumption of concessions to senior citizens in Railways despite the easing of the Covid-19 pandemic;
(b) whether the Government has made any assessment on how discontinued concessions is likely to affect the number of senior citizens travelling and how this decision will impact the savings of senior citizens and if so, the details thereof;
(c) whether the Government also intends to offer concessions to passengers in select classes viz. four categories of Divyangjan, eleven categories of patients and students and if so, the details thereof;
(d) the revenue loss occurred due to concessions given to senior citizens since the last three years to Indian Railways; and
(e) whether the Ministry proposes to revoke such ban on concessions specifically for senior citizens, students and sports persons, if so, the details thereof and if not, the reasons therefor?
MINISTER OF RAILWAYS, COMMUNICATIONS AND ELECTRONICS & INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
(SHRI ASHWINI VAISHNAW)
(a) to (c): Passenger fare in most of the classes is very low. Passenger segment over Indian Railways has suffered recurring loss due to low fare and concessions to different categories of passengers. Indian Railways is already bearing more than 50% 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 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. In spite of these challenges, Indian Railways has continued concession in fare to four categories of persons with disabilities, eleven categories of patients and students.
The number of senior citizen passengers travelled in reserved classes during 2019-20, 2020-21 and 2021-22 are 6.18 crore, 1.90 crore and 5.55 crore respectively. Decrease in travelling of number of senior citizen passengers during 2020-21 and 2021-22 may be in view of Pandemic due to Covid-19.
Railways operate different types of train services like Garib Rath, Rajdhani, Shatabdi, Duronto, Vande Bharat, Gatimaan, Tejas, Humsafar, Mail/Express, Ordinary passenger etc. Apart from this, different classes 1st AC, 2nd AC, 3rd AC, AC Chair Car, sleeper class, second class reserved/Unreserved, etc. are available on different fare structures for the use of passengers including senior citizens who can travel as per their preferences.
Apart from this during 2019-20, 22.62 lakh senior citizen passengers had opted to give up concession scheme in passenger fare and gave up concessions for the sustained development of Railways with better facilities.
(d): Revenue foregone due to concessions in passenger fare to Senior citizen passengers during 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20 for both reserved and unreserved are as under:
|Period||Revenue foregone in ₹ (crore)|
(e): Concessions in passenger fare is already admissible to Students as per Rule. As already reasons mentioned in the reply to Parts (a) to (c) above, restoration of concessions to Senior Citizen and Sports persons Passengers is not desirable.
Source: Lok Sabha