In view of ongoing cash crunch, the Railway ministry has accepted a proposal to repeal service charges on train tickets booked on its portal irctc.co.in to encourage credit or debit card payments instead of cash by people. However, the facility will be in effect until the end of December 31, 2016.
Now train tickets online could save general passengers Rs.40 per transaction on the website of Indian Railway Catering & Tourism Corporation, a subsidiary of the Indian Railways that handles online bookings, while Air-conditioned class reservation will save Rs.20 per transaction.
This comes into effect from November 23 and stays until December 31 to provide incentive for online payments, IRCTC said. The move follows the government demonetisation of high-denomination currency notes from November 9 and the resultant cash crunch seen in the country.
Other measures taken up by the Ministry of Railways in view of the Demonetisation include:
- A Monitoring Cell has been opened in Rail Bhawan under Additional Member (Commercial) and suitable instructions have been issued to the Zonal Railways (GMs, CCMs, FA & CAOs and DRMs) & Divisional Railways for ensuring smooth transaction across Indian Railways network.
- Instructions issued to accept Currency notes of Rs.500 and Rs.1000 denominations in catering establishments including refreshment rooms, refreshment stalls, Jan Aahars, pantry cars on running trains for purchase of eatables. Such acceptances, if any should be duly supported by cash bill and the transactions recorded in a separate register with details of the persons from whom the currency note has been accepted.
- Staff has been asked to take utmost care to ensure that the currency notes of Rs.500 and Rs.1000 denominations are verified to be genuine before accepting them.
- Suitable cap is being applied for issue of waitlisted tickets in higher classes if abnormal surge is noticed.
- Steps are being taken to ensure availability of sufficient cash.
- Any cash transaction of value of Rs.50,000/- (Fifty Thousand) and above should be permitted only after obtaining a copy of the PAN Card
- CRIS has been asked to closely monitor the trend in booking of tickets (earning and refunds)
Ministry of Railways has revised the procedure for cancellation of tickets and refund as follows:
In order to tide over the shortage of cash at the counters Ticket Deposit Receipts may be issued in lieu of cash refunds for passengers seeking refund on 9th, 10th and 11th November, 2016.
Cancellation of such tickets and refund of fare of value Rs.10,000/- and above shall NOT be allowed in cash or through green pay order or by any means involving cash across the counter. The payment shall be only through Cheque/ECS payment.
Such ticket may be refunded through filing of TDR only on surrendering of original ticket. TDR shall be filed within the prescribed time limit for cancellation of ticket across the counter as per Refund Rule e.g. TDR shall be filed only upto half an hour before the scheduled departure of the train for RAC/WL tickets and for confirmed tickets upto 4 hours before the scheduled departure of the train, for which ticket has been issued etc.
In such cases TDR and refund of fare as per refund rule shall be allowed for waitlisted tickets also only through Cheque/ECS payment. These measure have already been implemented.