Railway tickets are likely to get cheaper as the government is trying to do away with MDR or merchant discount rates levied on e-tickets. MDR charges are applied on tickets that passengers book online through the IRCTC website. The MDR charges are imposed by banks on the merchant for providing debit and credit card services. Railway Minister Piyush Goyal mentioned that talks are underway with banks to resolve this issue of MDR.
In an interview to CNBC-TV18, Goyal said, "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."
Once the MDR charges are done away with, ticket prices would automatically fall for passengers booking though the online portal.
Goyal, who spoke at the India Economic Summit of the World Economic Forum on Thursday also mentioned that a million jobs can be created in the railways ecosystem in less than 12 months. He further added that if they use the amount of investment in the pipeline, they can create 2 to 2.5 lakh jobs in the existing projects alone.
The minister further added that the government is trying to change the growth narrative by making it more technologically driven. Goyal further added that a change can only be brought about by empowering people and cutting through bureaucracy.
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