For the ease of rail passengers, the Ministry of Railways has decided to waive off service charges till March 2018. Hence, rail passengers will continue to enjoy service charge exemption on tickets booked online until March 2018. The government had waived service charges after demonetisation in November last year to encourage digital modes of booking.
Service charges on booking train tickets online through the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) ranges from INR 20 to INR 40 per ticket. Senior railway officials revealed that almost 33% of IRCTC’s revenue comes from the service charge collected on online bookings.
According to revenue collection of the last financial year, about INR 540 crore of IRCTC’s revenue of over INR 1,500 crore came from ticket bookings. An amount of around INR 184 crore has not been realised from passengers on account of service charge and service tax thereon on reserved tickets booked online from November 23, 2016, to February 28, 2017, as per railways data.