NEW DELHI: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has won Twitteratti’s approval by lowering the cost of railway tickets. During the budget speech, Jaitley got the social media buzzing by announcing that all e-tickets booked through the IRCTC website will get cheaper. Giving a major push to digital economy, he said that no service charge will be levied on tickets booked through the IRCTC website.
“Railways and roads are the lifeline of the country. Feel proud to present the first combined budget,” said Jaitley. He announced that the setting up of a Rs 1 lakh crore special fund, Rashtriya Rail Sanrakshan Kosh (RRSK), for a five-year safety upgrade. Unmanned level crossings will be eliminated by 2020, Jaitley said. He also said that the railways will usher in competitive ticketing facilities and withdrew the service charge on tickets booked through IRCTC. A new metro rail policy is also in the works, Jaitley said. Among other things, Jaitley said that 25 new railways stations will be developed and 500 stations will be equipped with lifts and escalators for the differently-abled.
Currently, IRCTC charges Rs 40 on every ticket booked in air-conditioned classes. For sleeper class, a service charge of Rs 20 is levied by IRCTC when ticket is booked through its website. No service charges on IRCTC is a welcome step towards cashless economy.