Senior Citizen Railway Concession: On March 20, 2020, just before the announcement of the lockdown after the Corona epidemic, the concession on rail travel for different categories including senior citizens was abolished.
Railway Concession: In every session of Parliament, MPs demand concession in fare for senior citizens on rail travel. And something similar has happened on the third day of the current winter session of Parliament. In the Lok Sabha, there was again a demand from the government to give exemption on rail travel to senior citizens. The government said that memorandums, request letters and suggestions have been submitted to the Railways by different people at the division level, zonal railways, railway ministry and even at stations and other places demanding concession in rail travel.
Lok Sabha member Anto Antony had asked the Railway Minister whether the government has any plan to reinstate the concession given to different categories of people on pre-Corona rail travel? He asked what steps has the government taken in this direction and has any request been made to the government to restore relaxation on rail travel? Giving a written answer to this question, Railway, IT and Telecom Minister Ashwini Vaishnav said that Indian Railways has always been providing affordable services to people coming from every section of the society. He told that in 2019-20, Railways has given subsidy of Rs 59,837 crore on passenger tickets. Which is equivalent to giving an average 53 percent concession to every railway passenger.
The Railway Minister said, all railway passengers are being given subsidy on rail travel. Apart from this, 4 categories of people, including disabled people, 11 categories of patients and 8 categories of students are being given relaxation in traveling by train. He said that in 2022-23, 18 lakh patients and the passengers escorting them have taken advantage of the exemption.
This year, information was revealed through RTI that Indian Railways had earned an additional amount of Rs 2242 crore in the financial year 2022-23 due to the abolition of discount on rail fares given to senior citizens. Railways said that between April 1, 2022 and March 31, 2023, the Railways did not give any discount on rail fares to about 8 crore senior citizens. These railway passengers included 4.6 crore men and 3.3 crore women. After the onset of the Corona epidemic, on March 20, 2020, the Modi government had abolished the discount on rail travel for senior citizens.