Railway Tickets are cheaper now. Govt. has proposed IRCTC (online catering and ticket booking company, subsidiary of Indian Railway) to scrap service charges on booking of tickets done through its website www.irctc.co.in in order to boost prime minister's cashless economy project.

Recently Govt. of India took its first step towards making India a cashless economy by demonetizing ₹500 and ₹1000 currency notes on Nov 9, 2016. People are so used to cash based economy in India that they prefer to buy railway tickets in cash through railway ticket booking window, instead of booking them online even though latter is much convenient and faster way to book seats in train.

IRCTC charges after Demonetization
IRCTC charges after Demonetization

As per new proposal, no service charge will be levied for tickets booked online from Nov 23, 2016 to Dec 31, 2016. If you are interested in knowing current IRCTC charges click here.

The move will help to bring parity between the cost of a ticket bought from railway counter and that which is booked online, thus encouraging more and more railway users towards cashless railway booking.

It will be interesting to see if government makes this decision (waiving of irctc charges) permanent. This is because the revenue earned by IRCTC on online transaction accounts for its 33% revenue, a substantial amount indeed. Almost 55% of railway tickets purchased in India each day are booked online on IRCTC. Of IRCTC ₹1500 Cr revenue in FY16, ₹540 crore came through online ticket booking.

Experts believe that the loss in revenue can be made up by IRCTC by expanding its catering business and by providing world class lounges and accommodation facilities to its customers near railway stations and other railway premises.

Whatever happens to the revenue of IRCTC, common men  should be happy with cheap railway tickets.

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