Telangana Minister KT Rama Rao on Friday lamented the Railways' decision to permanently scrap the senior citizens' concession on train fares.
Taking to social media, KTR urged Minister of Railways Ashwini Vaishnaw to "review" the decision.
"Dear @AshwiniVaishnaw Ji, Taking care of our elderly people is not just a responsibility but our duty. Was saddened to read that Govt of India has decided to remove the senior citizen concession in train fares. Request you to review the decision & take a compassionate view," KTR wrote on Twitter.
Dear @AshwiniVaishnaw Ji,— KTR (@KTRTRS) July 22, 2022
Taking care of our elderly people is not just a responsibility but our duty
Was saddened to read that Govt of India has decided to remove the senior citizen concession in train fares
Request you to review the decision & take a compassionate view pic.twitter.com/gkCWD3yI3q
The Railway Ministry on Wednesday told the Parliament that it had no intention of bringing back the train fare concession for senior citizens after withdrawing it in March, 2020. The 40 per cent discount on train fares for senior citizens was stopped owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Wednesday, Mr Vaishnaw told the Parliament that concessions to "four categories of persons with disabilities, 11 categories of patients, and students" will be continued "in spite of challenges" but restoring the concession to senior citizens is "not desirable".
"The Railways has forgone ~CHECK~ 4,794 crore as revenue... during 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20 for both reserved and unreserved categories," Mr Vaishnaw said.
"Apart from this, due to COVID-19, passenger earnings for the last two years is less in comparison to 2019-20. These have long-term impact on the financial health of the railways. Cost of granting concessions weighs heavily on the railways, hence extending scope of concessions to all categories of passengers, including senior citizens, is not desirable," he added.
Despite the Railways incurring losses, Members of Parliament (MPs) and ex-MPs continue to enjoy free or discounted train tickets.