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IRCTC’s ticketing revenue hits in terms of ticketing revenue over withdrawing of service charge on e-tickets

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(G.N.S) Dt. 30

New Delhi

Indian Railways’s official website, the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has been affected in terms of ticketing revnue over withdrawing of its service charge on e-tickets.

IRCTC took the step to promote digital transactions among the passengers. And now, according to the report published in the Economic Times, the government’s decision in November 2016 to withdraw service charge has cost IRCTC a 26% drop in internet ticketing revenue to Rs 466.05 crore in financial year 2016-17.

Previously, IRCTC used to charge Rs 20 on booking of a non-AC e-ticket and Rs 40 for every AC e-ticket.

IRCTC in 2016-17 sold about 209 million tickets, a 5 per cent increase from about 199 million tickets sold in 2015-16. The value of tickets booked online increased just 2% to Rs 24,485.21crore, the report added.

Service charge withdrawal took a toll on operating margins, which came in lower at 41.17 per cent in 2016-17 as compared with 42.93 per cent in 2015-16, it added.

“The impact (of scrapping service charge) will be more visible in the current financial year (2017-18). However, we are trying to make up for the revenue loss through the travel, tourism and hospitality segments,” IRCTC chairman MP Mall told ET. “We are launching new tourism circuits to make the most of increasing domestic tourism… Also, we are launching various luxury initiatives for foreign tourists.”

Meanwhile, railways is set to run the cleaner, faster trains. According to a newspaper report, Railways have assigned offcials in the Research Designs & Standards Organisation and coach production units with the task of developing new design coaches that will be faster, reliable and will provide more comfort to the travelers.

There were several complaints from the passengers about the worsening condition of toilets and coaches. Taking note of which, the officials in a high-level meeting in Guwahati last week took the decision.

According to a senior railway official, the Member (Rolling Stock) was of the view that the upkeep and cleanliness was an area of concern. Though the railway was spending Rs 2,300 crore annually on cleaning activities, complaints on bad toilet maintenance were pouring in from every sector.

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