350.2 Million Senior Citizens Opted for a Ticket Concession from Indian Railways, Reveals RTI
Moneylife Digital Team 16 August 2022
A Right to Information (RTI) application filed by Sailesh Mishra, founder of the non-profit organisation Silver Innings Foundation, has revealed that 350.2mn million senior citizens chose to avail the senior citizen’s concession offered by Indian Railways between 2017 and 2020. 
 
This scheme, which offers a small discount for senior citizens travelling in Indian Railways, was suspended in March 2020 due to COVID-related restrictions and also to discourage non-essential senior citizen travellers, as they were deemed more susceptible to COVID. Subsequently, after the COVID-imposed restrictions were eased throughout the country, Indian Railways are yet to take any meaningful action or decision towards restoration of the concession. 
 
As the RTI response reveals, before being withdrawn during the pandemic, the concession was extended to women aged 58 years and above and men and transgender people aged 60 years and above, in all classes and in the basic fares of mail or express and Rajdhani, Shatabdi, Jan Shatabdi and Duoronto group of trains. At the time, the senior citizen concession offered was 40% for men and transgender people and 50% for women passengers. 
 
Recently, Ashwini Vaishnaw, the minister of Railways, while responding in a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha, had said that the cost of granting concessions weighs heavily on the Railways and restarting concessions for senior citizens is not desirable. “These (financial losses due to concessions) have a long-term impact on the financial health of the Railways,” he says. 
 
In response to Mr Mishra’s query about the estimated revenue loss due to concessions, the Indian Railways responded, stating a loss of Rs1,491 crore in 2017-18, Rs1,636 crore in 2018-19 and Rs1,667 crore in 2019-20. 
 
Recent reports  have indicated that the Indian Railways are presently discussing plans to restore concessions for senior citizens and are considering several alternatives to offset the revenue loss due to the concessions. 
 
One of the options under discussion is to raise the age criterion for senior citizens to 65 years for women and 70 for men. This, according to them, should lessen the impact of revenue loss due to concessions, as the number of passengers in the proposed higher age range would be lesser.  
 
All of the queries and responses made in the RTI application by Mr Mishra have been made available below…
 
Comments
r_ashok41
3 months ago
So govt is thinking of how to make uncomfortable the lifes of sr citizens which already is getting effected due to rising inflation and commodities essentials cost low FD rates and what not and medical treatments.Govt should check the loop holes in the banking frauds done amounting to thousands of crores of rupees which have been looted of hard earned tax payers money.If govt gets those money then the concession given to sr citizens is pittance
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