The five per cent discount will be available on fares beyond Rs 50 for all non-suburban second class (ordinary and mail/express trains), the Minister said in his Railway Budget 2008-09 speech. The move was aimed at giving more benefits to long distance passengers, he said. In the second class fares of up to Rs 50 per passenger, there will be a further Re 1 reduction. A similar reduction was announced last year.
Mr Prasad also announced a further two per cent reduction in the fares of newly designed sleeper class coaches. Last year, there was a 4 per cent reduction. In comparison to old coaches, the number of berths in these coaches has increased from 72 to 81. Thus the cut, he said.
Similarly, the capacity of newly-designed AC-3 tier and AC chair car coaches has increased from 64 to 72 and 67 to 102 respectively.
With a view to sharing a portion of the benefits of this enhanced capacity with customers, the Minister reduced the fares of these coaches by 8 per cent last year.
This year, the reduction would be two per cent. Like last year, this reduction would be only 50 per cent for popular trains and during peak period.
Thus, these fares would be reduced by 10 per cent during lean season and by 5 per cent during peak season in two years. However, this reduction would be only five per cent for the fares of popular trains throughout the year.
The cut in the fares of AC-1 class and AC-2 tier would be only 50 per cent for popular trains and during peak period.
With this, rationalisation of AC class fares had now been completed, the Minister said.