Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) levies service charges as per market conditions since the introduction of an online ticketing facility over Indian Railways in 2002. To incentivize digital payments, the aforesaid service charges were temporarily withdrawn in November 2016.
However, IRCTC incurs substantial expenditure on providing online ticketing facilities. Further, many initiatives like Alternate Train Accommodation Scheme ‘VIKALP’, Artificial Intelligence based Passenger Name Record (PNR) confirmation predictor, etc. have been introduced on the IRCTC website to enhance passenger convenience and user experience. To defray the cost incurred in maintenance, up-gradation, and expansion of ticketing infrastructure, a convenience fee of ₹15/- + GST per ticket for Non-AC Classes and ₹30/- + GST per ticket for AC Classes is being levied by IRCTC w.e.f. 01.09.2019.
The online ticket booking facility provided by IRCTC is one of the most passenger-friendly initiatives of Indian Railways. Even after the levying of the convenience fee, online ticketing through IRCTC has continued its upward trend and it presently constitutes about 72% of total reserved tickets book on Indian Railways. At present, there is no proposal to reconsider the decision of introducing convenience fees on e-tickets.
This information was given by the Minister of Railways and Commerce & Industry, Shri Piyush Goyal in a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha today.
Source: Press Release
Release ID: 1593152
Date: November 22, 2019
Ministry of Railways