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Railways slash fares up to 25% for AC chair car & executive class

To boost train travel on trains facing low occupancy, the government is offering up to 25 per cent discount in the base fare of “AC chair car and executive classes of all trains having AC seating accommodation”, depending on the “fares of competitive modes of transport”.

According to the Railway Board order issued on Saturday, zonal railways will monitor trains for 30 days, and if the occupancy is less than 50 per cent in AC chair car and AC Executive class, they can offer up to 25 per cent cut in the base fare to “optimise utilisation of accommodation in trains”.

The policy is expected to benefit marquee trains like Shatabdis, Vande Bharats and others where the Railways is facing competition from buses for short distance travel.

The discount is applicable only on the base fare, while other charges like reservation charge, Superfast surcharge, GST, etc., as applicable, will be levied separately. “The fares of competitive modes of transport shall be the criteria while deciding the quantum of discount,” says the order.

The discount can also be offered for end-to-end journeys, as the case may be. If all other criteria are fulfilled, the discount may also be allowed onboard by the TTE.

The discount will be with immediate effect, which means that those who have already booked tickets at higher fares will not get any refund. Tatkal quota will not be available for sectors where this discount is applied, says the order.

For trains which have flexi-fare scheme, this discount will be applicable only after it is seen that there is no improvement in occupancy.

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