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Suryakant Jena

Bhubaneswar/New Delhi: The Indian Railways, country’s largest transporter is drawing a plan to rationalise passengers' fares to reduce the losses in the segment so that the collective revenue can be used to develop amenities in the trains.

According to a report published in the Financial Express Online, the Railway Board is finalising an option to allow passengers to give up either a part or the full subsidy component on their train tickets.

Sources said, the Indian Railways is looking to launch a huge awareness campaign named “Give It Up” scheme as part of a 100-day initiative to reduce passenger subsidy. The findings of the project implementation will be sent to PM Narendra Modi for consideration and final consent.

It may be noted that the Indian Railways recovers only 53% of the cost incurred from the passenger transport business, so with the help of this voluntary scheme, it hopes that the losses in the segment will be reduced.

However, with the subsidy, the proposed class-wise calculations, applicable on the base fare is likely to make the train journeys in popular classes like AC-2 tier slightly more expensive, stated the report.

It is learnt that giving up the subsidy however may not guarantee a ticket and if it does, it would be quite identical to the Tatkal scheme with a different name.

As far as implementation of the scheme is concerned, policymakers in the Railways have suggested that forms available at station counters should have the option for people to opt for the “give it up” choice. However, it would be easier in case the passenger applies for the ticket online through IRCTC.

The move to implement the new project however is unclear whether it will be applicable for all or limited to amongst those who are eligible for various concessions.

According to data published by Indian Railways, between 15th August, 2016 to 31st March, 2018 as many as 40 lakh senior citizens have given up their railway fare subsidy resulting in a benefit of Rs 77 crore to the national transporter.

So, there shouldn't be a cause of concern if it is implemented soon and we go for 'Give It Up' for the very development of our own Indian Railways.

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