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No Service Charge on e-tickets of Railway from 1st April 2017

No Service Charge on e-tickets of Railway from 1st April 2017: The railway commuters got a smile and can enjoy their journey as the Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday announced that no service charge will be levied on tickets booked through the IRCTC website. As of now, Rs. 40 on every ticket booked in air-conditioned classes and a service charge of Rs. 20 on every ticket booked in sleeper class is levied by the IRCTC when ticket is booked through its website.

While presenting his fourth Union Budget, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that service charges on e-tickets booked through IRCTC will be withdrawn. Cashless reservations have gone up from 58% to 68%. Arun Jaitley announced the combined budget for the first time in the history of independent India and said that the total capital and developmental expenditure of Railways for 2017-18 has been pegged at 1, 31,000 crores, which includes Rs. 55,000 crores provided by the government for the budget.
Jaitley said that amongst other things, the Railways will focus on four major areas- passengers safety, capital and developmental works, cleanliness and financial and accounting reforms.

The Finance minister – Arun Jaitley announced that for passengers safety, a `rail sanraksha kosh` will be created that is a rail safety fund with corpus of Rs. 1,00,000 crores will be created over a period of five years. Jaitley also announced that unmanned leveled crossings on broad gauge lines will be eliminated by 2020.

The Finance Minister also announced that during 2017-2018, at least 25 stations are expected to be awarded for station redevelopment and 500 stations will be made differently-abled-friendly by providing lifts and escalators.

Jaitley said that it is proposed to feed around least 7,000 stations with solar power in the medium term. The government has also announced that railway lines of 3,500 kilometers will be commissioned in 2017-18 as against 2,800 kilometers in 2016-17. Steps will be taken to launch dedicated trains of tourism and pilgrimage,” Jaitley said.

The Finance Minister, asserting that the focus of government is on `Swachh Railways`,  said that an SMS based `clean my coach service` has been started.

Jaitley also announced that all coaches of Indian Railways will be fitted with bio-toilets by 2019. The Finance Minister – Arun Jaitley also said that a new metro rail policy will be announced which would open up new jobs for the youth.