Concessions to senior Citizen Passengers in Indian Railways [Rajya Sabha QA]
GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
MINISTRY OF RAILWAYS
UNSTARRED QUESTION NO.770
ANSWERED ON 22.07.2022
CONCESSIONS TO SENIOR CITIZEN PASSENGERS
770 SMT. PHULO DEVI NETAM:
Will the Minister of RAILWAYS be pleased to state:
(a) the reasons why Government has not resumed senior citizen concessions in railways despite the easing of the COVID-19 pandemic;
(b) whether Government intends to offer concessions to passengers in select classes and if so, the details thereof;
(c) Government’s assessment of how discontinued concessions will affect the number of senior citizen passengers; and
(d) whether Government is aware as to how the decision will impact this decision will impact the savings of senior citizens, and the details thereof?
MINISTER OF RAILWAYS, COMMUNICATIONS AND
ELECTRONICS & INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
(SHRI ASHWINI VAISHNAW)
(a) & (b): 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.
(c) & (d): 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.