To encourage the digital booking of tickets, the government had waived service charge right after demonetization. At first, they extended it to June 30, and then September 30. Now, passengers can enjoy service charge exemption till much longer. The Railway Board has extended the benefits till March next year.
Earlier, the service charge used to range from ₹20 to ₹40 per ticket.
Senior railway officials told Hindustan Times that 33% of the IRCTC revenue used to come from ticket booking online. In the last financial year, IRCTC’s total revenue was 1,500 crore, out of which ₹540 crore was earned through the service charge on online ticket booking.
As per railways data, on the reserved tickets booked online from November 23, 2016, to February 28, 2017, an amount of around ₹184 crore is yet to be realised from passengers on account of service charge and service tax, reports HT.