Indian Railways News

Train tickets may get cheaper as govt likely to waive off merchant discount rates on e-tickets

The train ticket you will book for your next journey might cost you a little less as the government reportedly is mulling over removing the merchant discount rate (MDR) charges.

Banks charge MDR to the merchant for providing debit and credit card services. The merchant sets up a service with the bank and charges a predetermined rate on the card transactions.

In an interview to TV channel on Thursday, CNBC-TV18, the Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said that the discussions are on with the banks over MDR charges.

“Railways used to charge a service charge. Post demonetisation they removed that service charge and we saw digital transactions really shoot up. Now the only charge that is charges is the merchant discount rate (MDR). I am now engaged with bankers to see what we can do about that MDR also,” Goyal said.

Since May, IRCTC and the banks have been trying to come to an accord over the distribution of fees on online booking of rail tickets.

RBI had earlier lowered MDR charges on payments made through debit cards to 0.25 per cent for payment up to Rs 1,000.

Piyush Goyal also said that the government will “very soon” float a global tender to procure tracks for modernising the railways, which can create a million jobs within a year through various areas across its ecosystem.

“I have diverted all available tracks to track renewal so that we can make the existing tracks safer. We are looking to go in for global procurement of rail tracks…this will help fast track the doubling of lines and new projects,” he told reporters at the India Economic Summit of the World Economic Forum (WEF).

Asked by when the global tender for tracks modernisation would be floated, Goyal said “very soon, it’s under process”.

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