The senior citizens voluntarily gave up their subsidies to save the transport behemoth.
The railways, according to PTI, bears 43 percent of the cost of train fare, incurring a ₹ 30,000 crore a year loss due to passenger fare subsidies. Out of this, ₹ 1600 crore is because of concessional fares. The railways only incur 57% of all passenger transportation expenses through ticket sales across classes.
9 lakh senior citizens stepped up to help the National Transporter, by voluntarily giving up their ticket subsidies.
From July to October 22, 2.16 lakh men and 2.67 lakh women surrendered their subsidy and 2.51 lakh men and 2.05 lakh women decided not to avail 50% of their subsidy. This is a substantial jump from last year when only 4.68 lakh senior citizens took this step.
A senior official of the ministry, told the Economic Times “The figures show that the number of people ready to forgo the subsidy has doubled in one year, and this is an excellent piece of news for Railways as we are looking to reduce our losses.”
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The most significant drain on the burdened railway exchequer is the subsidy on suburban travel, where passengers pay only 36% of the ticket cost. A ₹ 1300 crore subsidy has been granted to senior citizens alone. The “give-up” scheme, launched by the Indian Railways, should ease the financial burden.