FARES of first class suburban commute on the railways will see an upward revision following the introduction of GST. Starting July 1, commuters would have to shell out a little more, with the Goods and Service Tax (GST) set to replace service tax, increasing the fare by 0.5 per cent. In a circular issued by the Railway Board on Friday, service tax of 4.5 per cent on the first class ticket fares would be increased to five per cent after GST sets in. By this, officials said the fares of first class commuters would be increased marginally.
“At present, the fare of a first class ticket is inclusive of the service tax rate of 4.5 per cent. After the GST is levied, it would be five per cent. This would marginally increase the tax by 0.5 per cent which would mean a slight increase in the fare of the ticket,” a senior railway official said. “The addition would be five per cent of the ticket cost to be paid. So, if the commuter would be pay Rs 75 as the basic fare of a first class ticket, the cost inclusive of GST would be hardly between Rs.77-78,” an official added.
The increase would be reflected on the fares of first class ticket fares and season tickets only. “No difference would be seen on the fares of second class ticket fares or sleeper class fares as their fares are not inclusive of any tax,” Shailendra Kumar, Chief Commercial Manager, Central Railway said. The fares of first class compartment for the suburban section had last increased in 2014 . For long distance trains, the fares of all air-conditioned compartments will also be increased after GST sets in.
“Now, commuters will have to shell out anywhere between five-10 rupees extra on the ticket to be charged of the first class. What is to be noted here is the increased fee will be not be an earning of railways. It would benefit the overall economy though,” a senior railway official said.
“The revised fare slabs will be in by next week. We are trying to update the software with the revised fare slabs,” an official added. First class commuters constitute 2.5 per cent of the overall suburban commute in the city.
“The higher fares must be utilised for the benefit of suburban commuters. Railway officials must focus on increasing passengers amenities and track conditions of railways through the increased fares,” Subhash Gupta, railway activist said.