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Rail fare, freight tariff to be costlier from April 1

Travelling in trains is set to become costlier from Monday as the hike in reservation fee and superfast charges announced in the Rail Budget come into effect from April 1.

BT Online Bureau | April 1, 2013 | Updated 12:45 IST

Hike in reservation fee and superfast charges announced in the Rail Budget will come into effect from Monday, making travelling in trains costlier.

Freight rate for all commodities will also go up by about 5.7 per cent on Monday. The Railways expect to earn Rs 42,210 crore from passengers traffic and Rs 93,554 crore from goods transportation in 2013-14.

Though the Railways have not increased basic passenger fare, it had proposed increase of the reservation fee, superfast and Tatkal charges. Cancellation and clerkage charges will also be hiked from April.

While the cash-strapped Railways were expected to mop up about Rs 880 crore annually from the latest hike in service charges on train tickets, the freight rate revision will fetch Rs 4200 crores for the national transporter in the fiscal 2013-14.

As per a Railway notification, while reservation fee for second and sleeper class has not been revised, AC classes will be dearer by Rs 15 to Rs 25 per ticket.

Superfast charges have been increased by Rs 10 for sleeper and second class fare. For AC classes, the hike is between Rs 15 and Rs 25.

There are more than two crore passengers travelling daily on about 11,000 trains in the country.

Tatkal fee has been increased by 10 per cent of the basic fare for second class and 30 per cent for all other AC classes. While cancellation charges have been increased by Rs 10 to Rs 50 per ticket for confirmed tickets, clerkage charge for cancellation of waiting list and RAC tickets will be hiked by Rs 5 for sleeper class and Rs 10 for AC class.

Cancellation and clerkage charges have been hiked to deter touts from booking bulk tickets in advance, a senior Railway Ministry official said.

Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal had effected the hike in the basic passenger fare by 21 per cent before the Rail Budget in January 22, this year.

The hike in passenger fare was announced after 10 years as successive Railway Ministers during that period were not in favour of increasing fares.

The cost of fuel and energy went up many times during that period and it was essential to hike the fares, said the official.

With PTI inputs

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