make the passengers use online ticket booking system, Indian Railways is set to
launch its own co-branded debit card in association with State Bank of India,
the country’s biggest lender and Indian Railways Catering and Tourism
Corporation (IRCTC). To make the attraction towards digital booking stronger,
it will also hold monthly-lottery draw to choose 10 lucky passengers who will
get back 100% cash-back.
“It will be a railway debit card which can be used for any
transaction but on buying rail tickets, it will be free of charges. There will
be loyalty plans as well,” said a ministry of railways official
the wake of demonetization that pushed IRCTC in a loss of Rs 600 crore, the
Railways took the initiative of waiving charges for online booking of tickets; the
time line for this move has been revised twice and now the customers will not
be charged the levy till March 2018.
IRCTC used to give a part of the charge of Rs 20 for a sleeper class and Rs 40
for an air-conditioned class e-ticket to banks as transaction charges; but now
since it does not charge anything for on-line booking, it has to bear the bank
transaction charges as well.
from ticket booking is the mainstay for IRCTC and as per its annual report of
2015-16, 43% of its total income came from this segment followed by 26% from
tourism and 23% from catering. While the railway minister Piyush Goyal has
instructed officials to find ways to reduce the burden on IRCTC due to bank
charges, the official quoted above said negotiations are on and a “significant
announcement will be made soon”. Meanwhile, as reported by FE earlier, the ministry
of finance has agreed to pay Rs 80 crore to IRCTC as a “one-time” compensation
for the losses on online ticketing operations.
railways will also be conducting monthly lottery draw starting January wherein
lucky passengers will get the entire money back spent on tickets booked online.
“We will be awarding people for buying tickets online and the first draw will
be on January 3. Ten passengers who have bought e-tickets providing their
Aadhaar number and have travelled themselves during December will be selected
through a lottery and will get the money they have spent on tickets. The draw
will be done every month,” said the official. The draw will be held every month
and 10 passengers from the preceding month will be selected through a draw.