New Delhi: The flexi-fares in Indian Railways may soon be discontinued in 15 trains in which monthly occupancy is less than 50 per cent throughout the year.
According to a proposal, the loss due to removal of flexi-fare in these 15 trains is expected to be around Rs 22.41 crore, however, Indian Railways expects that increase in occupancy by 15 per cent after removal of flexi-fares may compensate the loss and increase in occupancy may, in fact, generate additional revenue.
Sources said the proposed changes are based on Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) Report that had recommended rationalisation of flexi-fare system to improve occupancy in trains.
In addition to this, the Railways is also considering a proposal to discontinue flexi-fares during the pre-defined lean period of three months in 32 trains where unidirectional monthly occupancy has been between 50-70 per cent throughout the previous year. The loss due to removal of flexi-fare in these 32 trains is expected to be Rs 40 crore. However, the Railways is hoping that increase in occupancy by 30 per cent can compensate for the loss.
Besides, it is proposed to continue with flexi-fare in 101 trains in which average unidirectional monthly occupancy is more than 75 per cent throughout the year. The proposal also suggests putting a maximum cap of flexi fare from 1.5 times to 1.4 times in all applicable classes.
There is also a proposal to provide graded discount in flexi-fares in 100 trains with occupancy less than 60 per cent, four days prior to scheduled date of train start from originating destination. It is expected that sale of 10 per cent of vacant berth can tentatively yield approximately Rs 55 crore.
Sources said that though the effect of the changes cannot be quantified in terms of monetary gain or otherwise, it is expected that there shall be an increase in occupancy due to rationalisation of fares and will generate additional revenue. The changes are proposed to be implemented from Advanced Reservation Period (ARP) on an experimental basis for six months which can be further extended after accessing its outcome.
List of trains with occupancy less than 50% (2017-18) from which Flexi Fare will be removed in 2018-19 :