Railways Ministry Decides To Withdraw IRCTC Convenience Fee

New Delhi: The Ministry of Railways has decided to withdraw its decision on the Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) convenience fee.

This was announced a day after the Railways asked its online ticketing arm IRCTC to share 50 per cent of its revenue earned as convenience fee from bookings on its website with the national transporter.

“The Ministry of Railways has decided to withdraw the decision on IRCTC convenience fee,” DIPAM Secretary announced in a tweet.

On Thursday, the Railways asked IRCTC to share 50 per cent of its revenue earned as a convenience fee from bookings on its website with the national transporter, an arrangement that had been discontinued since the pandemic.

In a regulatory filing, IRCTC informed SEBI that the Railways has said the revenue-sharing arrangement would be enforced from November 1.

Convenience fees charged from customers generated a sizable revenue for both IRCTC and the Railways. The fee is not part of the rail fare. It is for the service of online ticket booking offered by the IRCTC.

In 2014-15 when the revenue sharing ratio was 20-80, the Railway’s online ticketing and catering arm received a majority of the Rs 253 crore revenue. The following year, the revenue generated from this was Rs 552 crore with a 50-50 share arrangement. In 2016-17, with a similar revenue-sharing model, the fee generated Rs 362 crore as earning for the IRCTC-Railway combine.

The convenience fee was discontinued thereafter, and the duo did not earn any revenue from it till 2019.

The IRCTC began charging the fee again during the coronavirus crisis mainly to boost its revenues during the slowdown. The Railways, however, gave up its share.

In 2019-20, IRCTC earned Rs 352 crore from convenience fees and in 2020-21, it earned Rs 299 crore. Till August this year, the IRCTC had earned Rs 224 crore.

Ministry of Railways to withdraw decision on IRCTC convenience fee

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