A parliamentary standing committee has recommended the resumption of the fare concession offered to senior citizens by the railways before the coronavirus pandemic.
The Indian Railways used to offer a 40 per cent discount in fares to males aged 60 years or above and for females, a 50 per cent discount was given if the minimum age was 58 years. These concessions were granted in fares of all classes of Mail/Express/Rajdhani/ Shatabdi/Duranto group of trains but were withdrawn on March 20, 2020.
The Standing Committee on Railways headed by BJP MP Radha Mohan Singh made the recommendation in its report on the demand for grants which was tabled in both Houses of Parliament on Monday. It had made the same recommendation in a previous report.
The Committee said that from the information furnished by the Railways, the Covid situation has now been normalised and the national transporter has achieved normal growth. ”The Committee, in their 12th Action Taken Report (17th Lok Sabha) on Passenger Reservation System had also desired that the concessions to senior citizens which were available in pre-Covid times may be reviewed and considered at least in Sleeper Class and 3A Class so that the vulnerable and genuinely needy citizens could avail the facility in these classes.
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”The Committee, therefore, reiterate their earlier recommendation contained in their above-said report and urge upon the Railways to consider empathically for resumption of concessions in fares to senior citizens particularly in Sleeper Class and 3A Class under intimation to this Committee,” the report said.
The Railways, however, said that it had no immediate plans to resume the concession. It maintained that already giving 50-55 per cent concession was being to all passengers.