More than nine lakh senior citizens have given up their ticket subsidies - partially or fully - saving Rs 40 crore for the Indian Railways.
Under the ‘give up’ scheme launched by the railways in 2016, senior citizens could either give up their subsidy totally or make use of the concession in its entirety. In July 2017, an additional option was added, wherein a senior citizen could decide to give up 50 percent of his or her subsidy.
Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu came up with the idea after he heard about a passenger who decided to forego his subsidy according to Business Standard.
The passenger was travelling from Jammu to Delhi when they noticed a 43 percent subsidy that was borne by the railways. He decided to forego the subsidy, and sent a cheque of Rs 950 to IRCTC. However, with no precedence and provisions, the railways had to return the check. While introducing the scheme, one senior official with railways had said,
"We expect people who are well off to forgo the subsidy, as details of this are already printed on tickets,”
After the scheme's launch, one can choose to either forego the full or part subsidy. This will go a long way in helping the railway deal with the expense it incurs every year subsidising passenger tickets.
As expected, in the three months since it was launched, more than nine lakh men and women have decided to give up either partial or full subsidy. According to PTI,
"The figures show that the number of people letting forgoing the subsidy has doubled in one year. It is great news for Railways as we are looking to reduce our losses incurred through subsidies,"
Currently, male senior citizens get 40 percent concession on the total fare wherein female senior citizens get 50 percent concession.