Flexi-fare scheme: Ball now in Goyal's court; decision soon

Flexi-fare scheme: Ball now in Goyals court; decision soon

New Delhi: After two years of 'painful' journey, passengers of railways are set to get a major relief as the Ministry of Railways has finally 'decided' to roll back its controversial flexi-fare scheme better known as dynamic pricing plan.

According to sources, the Railways Board, which is an apex body of Railways Ministry, has approved the removal of the scheme with some riders. Sources privy to minister's office further added that the ball is now in the court of Railways Minister Piyush Goyal.

"Now, the minister has to take the final call to scrap the scheme from all the trains or it would be discontinued only in 'selected' number of trains. The Board has also suggested a few other plans to compensate the loss of revenue to railways due to scraping of the flexi-fare scheme," the sources maintained.

In contrary to its implementation, as per the informed sources, the minister would announce the flexi-fare roll-back decision at any mega public meeting or by holding a press conference.

Notably, about a year ago Goyal had indicated about tweaking the flexi-fare scheme, which helped Railways earn an additional over Rs 500 crore in less than a year.

On the direction of Goyal, the railways had constituted a committee to review the dynamic pricing scheme, which was 'silently' implemented during the regime of Suresh Prabhu, the then Rail Minister.

Last year in September, Goyal had said that people have brought to his notice about the issues related to flexi-fare scheme. The minister had assured of tweaking the scheme by making it better without hurting people's pockets as well as meeting the revenue targets.

In December 2017, the panel had started the process of reviewing flexi-fare system in premium trains such as such as the Rajdhani, Shatabdi and Duronto by comparing the prices with that of other modes of transport in the same sector.

The scheme which was launched on September 9, 2016, had led to up to 50 per cent increase in fares and under the formula, base fares increase from 10 per cent to 50 per cent every 10 per cent of berths booked. The scheme was introduced for 44 Rajdhani, 46 Shatabdi and 52 Duranto trains.

The scheme drew lots of criticism from the people of every walks of life and the move was dubbed as daylight robbery.

Dhirendra Kumar

Dhirendra Kumar

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