With the elections coming to an end, railways today hiked both passenger fares and freight rates by 14.2% and 6.5% respectively, effective from May 20. The move would put an additional burden on train passengers for all classes, said a senior Railway Ministry official.
While a flat 10 per cent has been announced in all classes, an additional 4.2 per cent increase under fuel adjustment component (FAC)-linked revision scheme will be effected on passenger fares, taking the upper revision of fares to 14.2 per cent, the official said. The revised fares will also apply to tickets issued in advance for journeys to commence on or after May 20. Railways have also increased the freight rates with a flat 5 per cent hike and an additional increase of 1.4 per cent on account of FAC.
The overall increase in freight rates will be 6.5 per cent approximately for major commodities, the official added. The FAC was introduced by railways about a year back for automatic revision of passenger fares and freight rates corresponding with the revision in fuel price. Railways had earlier increased passenger fare and freight tariff by about 2 per cent from October 7 last year to offset the financial burden arising out of increased input cost.
The hike under FAC was due since April 2014, the official said. Passengers travelling in sub-urban and non-surban sections have also been hit as they can only travel 15 times on a monthly season ticket instead of 25 times. Second Class Monthly Season Ticket (MST) fares of Suburban and Non-suburban shall be charged on the basis of 25 single journeys instead of approximately 15 single journeys, according to the revised fares.
There shall be no change in charges for reservation fee, superfast surcharge etc. "Such charges, wherever applicable, shall continue to be levied as per existing instructions," he said. In case of tickets already issued at pre-revised rates, the difference in fares and other charges on or after May 20 will be recovered either by TTEs on the trains or by the Booking/Reservation Offices before the commencement of journey by passengers, the official said.