No service charge on IRCTC’s online bookings till December 31

The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation will not levy service charges for online ticket bookings for the rest of the year, the government said on Monday. IRCTC, which is a subsidiary of the Indian Railways, accounts for more than half the train tickets booked in the country every day – nearly 12 lakh of them.

For sleeper and other non-air-conditioned journeys, the site charges Rs 20 for e-tickets and Rs 80 for i-tickets. The service charge for AC compartments is Rs 40 for e-tickets and Rs 120 for i-tickets. The charges make up a large part of IRCTC’s revenues.

The move comes two weeks after the Centre decided to demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, and is part of the government’s efforts to encourage cashless transactions. A government official told the Economic Times, “We have suggested IRCTC either do away or substantially reduce the service charge as the Prime Minister wants that online transactions should not be more expensive than over-the-counter payments.”