With Union Budget 2017-18, the government has permanently waived off the IRCTC service charge levied on booking railway tickets online from the website. Making the announcement, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that the service charges on railway e-tickets booked through IRCTC have been withdrawn.
Despite the IRCTC service charge being removed, users still need to pay the payment gateway charges while booking tickets online.
Prior to the Budget 2017 announcement, an IRCTC service charge of Rs. 20 was levied for sleeper class tickets, while AC class tickets entailed a service charge of Rs. 40 per ticket. The service charge was refunded to the user if the ticket booking process failed. However, if the user cancelled the ticket after booking, the service charge was not refundable.
After Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s demonetisation drive, the service charge for tickets booked from the IRCTC website was waived temporarily, till December 31, 2016. The Budget 2017 move to remove IRCTC service charge will likely promote digital payments in the country.
Another key Budget 2017 announcement centred on IRCTC was that the Indian Railways PSU will be listed on stock exchanges, along with IRCON and IRFC.