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Recommendation of the Parliamentary Commission on Railways to restore the concession for tickets for senior citizensMEERI News

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The relaxation option for senior citizens was withdrawn on 20 March 2020 to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Railways has recommended to bring back fare discounts for senior citizens at least in air-conditioned third class (AC-3) and sleeper class after full recovery from the effects of the Covid pandemic.

In its demand grant report for 2023-24 tabled in the Lok Sabha yesterday, the Radha Mohan Singh-led committee said the Indian Railways will provide a 40 per cent fare reduction for men aged 60 years and above and 40 per cent for women. 50% discount is given for a minimum age of 58 years. This discount was given in all ticket classes of Mail/Express/Rajdhani/Shatabdi/Drunto group trains. By then, the ministry had introduced the option of waiving the “senior citizen concession”, and senior citizens who wanted to contribute to national development were given the opportunity to book their tickets without any concession. The relaxation option for senior citizens was withdrawn on 20 March 2020 to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. Based on the information provided to the Committee, the Committee found that the Covid restrictions have now been lifted and the Railways has achieved normal growth.

In its 12th report on passenger reservation system in the 17th Lok Sabha, the committee said concessions for senior citizens, which were available in the pre-Covid era, should be reviewed and at least sleeper class and air conditioning for class 3. so that weak and really poor citizens can use this opportunity in these categories. Therefore, the Committee reiterated its earlier recommendations in its 12th Report and requested the Ministry to consider sympathetically and continue the concessions for senior citizens in Sleeper class and AC3 class.

According to the report, when the committee asked the ministry about this, the ministry said that the financial condition of the railways has been badly affected by the global Covid-19 pandemic. The government has given a subsidy of Rs 59,837 crore for passenger tickets in 2019-2020. It has given an average discount of 53% to every railway passenger. This subsidy continues for all passengers, but the commission partially accepted the ministry’s plea and recommended the return of the concession on tickets for senior citizens.

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