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Rajdhani Express was one of the first luxury and superfast train services introduced by the Indian Railways following which several other superfast trains have been launched on the Indian Railways network such as Shatabdi Express, Duronto Express, Tejas Express, the recently-launched Vande Bharat Express (Train 18). The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) had introduced the flexi-fare system on the base fares of Rajdhani Express, Shatabdi Express and Duronto Express class of trains.
Earlier last year itself, the Indian Railways had scrapped the flexi-fare system on about 15 trains and reduced the flexi-fare rate on more than 100 trains. The amendments in the flexi-fare system or the dynamic pricing were done on the basis of the recommendations of the designated review committee, Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report and the feedback received from passengers.
The base fare of Rajdhani, Shatabdi and Duronto Express trains were put on flexible fare system possibly in order to monetise the ticket booking well in advance and to gain additional revenue on the seats booked closer to the scheduled departure of the train.
According to IRCTC, the base fare will increase 10 per cent with every 10 per cent of berths sold subject to a prescribed ceiling limit, while there will be no changes in the existing fare for 1 AC and EC classes of the trains. Other supplementary charges like reservation charges, superfast charges, catering charges, service tax, shall be levied separately, IRCTC said. The vacant berths left at the time of charting would be offered for current booking and train tickets under current booking shall be sold at the last price sold for that class.
In the flexi-fare system, the present limit of berths set aside for tatkal quota in these trains is operated as per the existing guidelines. However, no additional charges as tatkal charges will be levied. The berths assigned under the tatkal quota shall be booked at the rate of 1.5 times of the base fare for all classes (2S, SL, 2A, 3A and CC).
As per the IRCTC directive, Indian Railways doesn’t offer the facility of premium tatkal quota in on tickets booked under flexi-fare system. The concession on train tickets will be applicable for respective concessional tickets on the base fare of a ticket at each stage and there will be no change in existing refund rules. Service tax will continue to be levied as applicable as per instructions issued in this regard all other rules and conditions pertaining to the above category of the trains shall be continued without any change, IRCTC said.
This article first appeared on www.timesnownews.com
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