Under the subsidy scheme launched in 2016, senior citizens were given the option to either avail the full concession provided to them on train tickets or forgo the entire amount. Early in 2017, a new option was added within the scheme which allowed senior citizens to give up 50% of the subsidy. This scheme was launched to reduce nearly Rs. 1,300 crore subsidy burden of the Railways in the senior citizen category.
Reports suggest that more than 9 lakh senior citizens have voluntarily given up their ticket subsidies under the ‘Give Up’ subsidy scheme which has helped Indian Railways save around Rs. 40 crore.
Between July 22, 2017, and October 22, 2017 – 2.16 lakh men and 2.67 lakh women gave up their full subsidy, while 2.51 lakh men and 2.05 lakh women decided not to avail 50% of their subsidy. This resulted in 9.39 lakh senior citizens giving up their subsidy within 3 months, which helped Railways save Rs. 40 crore.
During the same period last year, only about 4.68 lakh senior citizens gave up their subsidies, which comprised of 2.35 lakh men and 2.33 lakh women.
“The figures show that the number of people forgoing the subsidy has doubled in just one year. It is great news for Railways as we are looking to reduce our losses incurred through subsidies,” said a senior official of the ministry.