Railways earned Rs 5,800 crore in 4 years by withdrawing concession for senior citizens: RTI

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New Delhi: Railways has earned an additional revenue of Rs 5,800 crore in last four years since withdrawing concession for senior citizens in 2020.

According to the information shared by the government in response to an RTI by Chandra Shekhar Gaur, from Madhya Pradesh, since March 20, 2020, to January 31, 2024, the Railways had collected an additional revenue exceeding Rs 5,875 crore.

Why was concession for senior citizen withdrawn by Railways?

The Railways had withdrawn concessions for senior citizens during the nationwide lockdown imposed due to Covid-19.

Earlier, the Railways offered a 50% concession to female senior citizens and a 40% concession to male and transgender senior citizens on train fares. However, since its abolition, senior citizens are now required to pay the full fare equivalent to other passengers for train journeys.

As per Railway guidelines, individuals aged 60 and above for males and transgenders, and 58 and above for females, are considered senior citizens.

“I filed three applications under the RTI Act. In the first application, the Railways provided me additional revenue data from March 20, 2020 to March 31, 2022. In the second application, it gave me data from April 1, 2022 to March 31, 2023. Since I filed the third application in February 2024, I got the data from April 1, 2023 to January 31, 2024,” Gaur told PTI.

“Since the replies from the Railways are year-wise and gender-wise, we can easily find out the additional revenue collected by it from March 20, 2020 to January 31, 2024.” During four year, about 13 crore male, nine crore female and 33,700 transgenders senior citizens took the train journey paying a total revenue of approximately 13,287 crore.

“Calculating 50 per cent concession for female and 40 per cent for male and transgenders senior citizen passengers gives a figure of over 5875 crore,” Gaur said.

When will Railways resume concession to senior citizens?

Questions regarding restoration of concession for senior citizens have also been raised in the Parliament by it members.

However, Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, without giving any direct reply, maintained that the Indian Railway already offers a 55 per cent concession on train fares to every train passenger.

“If a train ticket to a destination costs Rs 100, the Railway is charging only Rs 45. It is giving Rs 55 concession,” Vaishnaw had said during a press briefing in January 2024.

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