The Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation Ltd. (IRCTC) has earned more than Rs. 63 crores from convenience fee in September, an RTI query revealed. The Central government had decided to scrap the service fee on e-booking of tickets three years ago to promote digital transactions. Before it, the government was charging Rs. 20 per ticket on non-AC category and Rs 40 per ticket on air-conditioned tickets.
Defying the decision, the IRCTC imposed the convenience fee from September 1 this year. Thereafter, Rs. 15 on non-AC and Rs. 30 on air conditioned tickets are being charged. Moreover, this convenience fee attracts GST additionally.
Right To Information activist Chandrashekhar Gaur filed a query with the IRCTC under the Act asking that how much was collected as service fee on e-ticket bookings between September 1-30. The information provided by the IRCTC to Gaur had mentioned convenience fee in place of service fee. According to the IRCTC data, Rs. 63.05 crores were received under the convenience fee. However, it was not mentioned that the whole amount was collected from e-booking.
Interestingly, the IRCTC has given three replies to Gaur for his single query. The first reply came on October 22 that said Indian Railways doesn't charge service fee, instead, IRCTC has imposed convenience fee from September 1, under which a total Rs 51.69 crore were received.
In the second reply on October 30, the IRCTC said that it got Rs 53.54 crores (excluding GST) under the convenience fee in September. Thereafter, while answering the online application on November 1, the IRCTC said that it received total Rs. 63,051,0993 as the fee.