Withdrawal of service charge on online ticket booking cost IRCTC Rs 693 cr

Withdrawal of service charge on online ticket booking  cost IRCTC Rs 693 cr

Courtesy : Nationalist Bureau29/10/2018 08:01

On an average, around 6.75 lakh tickets were sold daily through IRCTC’s website in 2017-18.

New Delhi: The withdrawal of service charge on online rail ticket bookings -- one of the incentives offered to customers after demonetisation -- resulted in loss of business of Rs 693 in 2017-18 financial year for the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), according to the corporation’s annual report.

IRCTC used to levy Rs 20 per e-ticket for Non-AC classes and Rs 40 per e-ticket for AC classes as service charge.

In 2017-18, the corporation’s revenue from ticketing operations was Rs 204 crore, 56% down from Rs 466 crore the previous fiscal. In 2015-16, the corporation’s ticketing revenue was Rs 632 crore.

In 2016-17 fiscal, IRCTC’s business was hit by demonetisation (announced in November 2016), but only for a part of the year. The service charge was removed on November 23 the same year.

On an average, around 6.75 lakh tickets were sold daily through IRCTC’s website in 2017-18. The total number of tickets booked through the IRCTC website that year were 246 million, 18% higher than the previous year.

According to the report, IRCTC’s e-ticketing service sells 65.83% of reserved tickets on Indian Railways booked online.

The loss of business is calculated by multiplying the number of tickets sold with the corresponding service charge.

The IRCTC said in the report that the annual expenditure of Rs 80 crore incurred on the ticketing system on the website, marketing, operations and after-sales service is being compensated by the Ministry of Railways.

“The withdrawal of service charge on the tickets, though, has reduced the income from this segment; efforts are being made to encash full potential of website along with mobile application schemes by data monetization, e-auctioning and retail management,” an IRCTC official said.

The IRCTC witnessed a 3.1% decline in total revenue to Rs 1,544 crore in 2017-18. Apart from ticketing, the corporation also earns money from sales of RailNeer (mineral water), onboard catering, and licence fees from outsourced catering vendors. 

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