NEW DELHI: In an unprecedented move, Union Railways Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal has hiked rates in passenger fares by upto 20%. This change will be put into effect from 21 January and the hike is being made across the board. This is the first hike in ten years and with this, Indian Railways hopes to collect Rs 6,600 crore to be able to meet capital expenditure in the future.
Pawan Kumar Bansal said that the revenue earned will be used to maintain cleanliness and safety. Simultaneously, he also added that there will be no fresh fare hike with the Rail Budget that will come out next month.
Recently, Planning Commission chief Montek Singh Ahluwalia and Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal came together to discuss moves that would help to gain private investments in the sector. Accordingly, Bansal was asked to seek better fares from commuters and come up with new ways to garner more interest from the private sector. They had discussed setting up of a Rail Tariff Authority that would be responsible for restructuring passenger fares as well as freight charges.
According to the new rates, II class ordinary suburban will see an increase of 2 paise per km, II class ordinary non suburban will see an increase of 3 paise per km and II class mail express train will see a hike of 4 paise per km. Sleeper class will see a hike of 6 paise per km and Ac chair car will see an increase of 10 paise per km. Simultaneously, Ac 2 tier, Ac first class and Ac first class executive class will see additional hikes of 6 paise per km, 3 paise per km and 10 paise per km respectively, above the hikes they have seen earlier.