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CM Kejriwal Urges Prime Minister to Restart Rail Fare Concessions for Elderly

  • Posted on April 3, 2023
  • News
  • By Top Stories

Arvind Kejriwal urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi on April 3, 2023 (Monday) to restart the fare concessions that were being offered to senior citizens in rail travel


 Why does the concession need to restart?


In a letter to PM Modi, the Chief Minister talked about the concession being a benefit to millions of elderly citizens, which was discontinued during the COVID hit pandemic era. Citing the unfortunate discontinuation, the AAP supremo stresses upon the importance of blessings of the elderly in the progress of the country as a whole and society in particular.


The current budget of the center is at 45 lakh crore and stating that this concession would amount to 1600 crore, Kejriwal opined that it wouldn't add much burden on the budget and would be just a "drop in the ocean". 

Why was the Concession Discontinued?


At a question posed in parliament last year in 2022, Ashwani Vaishnaw, the railway minister said, “Due to challenges posed by Covid-19, total passenger revenue generated during 2020-2021 is less compared to 2019-2020 (pre-Covid period). The cost of granting concessions weighs heavily on railways, hence extending the scope of concessions to all categories of passengers, including senior citizens is not desirable at present,”


What Did Kejriwal Say About Budget Constraints?


CM Kejriwal then argued on this point of budget constraint that it should not impede providing rail ticket concession scheme as even his government also spends 50 crores in the annual budget in providing free pilgrimage. He said, "By paying ₹50 crores for the Mukhyamantri Teerth Yatra scheme from its annual state budget of ₹70,000 crores, the Delhi Government does not become poor".


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