GOI Refuses To Restore Concessions On Railway Fare To Senior Citizens And Athletes

Refusing to restore the concession to the senior citizens and athletes, the government stated, “the cost of offering concessions to the senior citizens and sportspersons ‘weighs heavily’ on the Railways, hence it is not “desirable” to reinstate the discounts.

Rail Minister Ashwini Vaishnav said, “Due to lower fare structures for passenger services, Indian Railways already bear more than 50% of the average cost of travel for all passengers, including senior persons. In addition, COVID-19 has reduced passenger profits during the past two years compared to 2019–2020. So it’s not desirable to restore any concessions.”

“These concessions have a long term economic impact on the railways, however, the government has continued giving concessions to the disables, eleven categories of patients and students,” he further added.

During his address, minister Ashwini Vaishnav shared the data, according to which, the revenue foregone due to the concessions given to senior citizens for both reserved and unreserved category, stood at ₹1,491 crore in 2017-18, ₹1,638 crore in 2018-19 and ₹1,667 crore in 2019-20. 

Though he also stated that the decline in number of passengers in 2020-21 and 2021-22 was due to the Covid-19 pandemic. According to the data shared, in 2019-20, 22.62 Lakh senior citizen passengers gave up the concessions for the betterment and development of Indian Railways.  

However, the opposition parties have been continuously lashing out and questioning the Central government over its move. Now, since the government has refused to restore the concession given to senior citizens and sportspersons on railway fares, the opposition is again slamming the BJP-led Central government.

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