Older people don’t get train grants, MPs get crores, shows center records 2022
Older people don’t get train subsidies, MPs get millions, center records show
In March 2020, Indian Railways discontinued their senior citizen discounts. However, it continued to subsidize train tickets for MPs and former MPs.
Over the past five years, the center has spent over Rs 62 million on travel grants for MPs.
In New Delhi: According to documents obtained under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, Indian Railways have rejected cuts for the elderly, claiming the need to reduce their grant spending, while MPs have received millions in free and discounted train tickets.
In March 2020, Indian Railways discontinued their senior citizen discounts. However, it continued to subsidize train tickets for MPs and former MPs. According to information obtained through RTI enquiries, the center has spent over Rs 62 million on discounts for MPs and former MPs traveling by train over the past five years.
According to the Lok Sabha Secretariat’s response to an RTI investigation, “The MSA branch processes debit bills after receiving them from the Ministry of Railways through the payroll and accounting office. According to branch records, the MSA branch processed the following debit claim bills for MPs and former MPs: 3.99 crore in 2021-22, 2.47 crore in 2020-21, 16.4 in 2019-2020, 19.75 crores in 2018-2019, and 19.34 crores in 2017-2018.
Even after the first and second waves of the COVID-19 outbreak ended, the railways failed to reinstate senior citizen discounts on train fares.
Since the reduction for the elderly was scrapped in March 2020 – the same month Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared the first lockdown during the pandemic – the railways have earned 1,500 crore in cash.
“We are struggling, and they don’t offer us anything. The ruling class does not cherish the past. The public has nothing; Deputies and deputies receive a lifetime pension, a canteen and all. Our concession should be restored,” argues Jaganath Gupta, 76.
Men got a 40% discount on train tickets as part of government allowances for the elderly, while women got 50%.
The railways said that between March 20, 2020 and March 31, 2022, 7.31 million older adults traveled without subsidized train tickets in response to an RTI survey submitted by Chandra Shekhar Gaur.
Among them are 8,310 transgender people, 2.84 billion women over 58 and 4.46 billion men over 60. The total income of elderly travelers during this period was 3,464 crores, including the 1,500 crores made after the subsidy for them. was interrupted. We receive few benefits over MPs and MPs even after 30 years of service. We are trustworthy taxpayers. Contributions must be reinstated. Our deputies and deputies have full discretion to make all decisions on our behalf.
A retired government employee named Chand George calls it a blatant irony.
In March this year, Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw informed parliament that the government would not return the privileges for the time being.
Free train rides for MPs have cost the government over $60 million over the past five years.
According to data made available under the RTI Act, free train travel for serving and retired Lok Sabha MPs has cost government coffers Rs 62 crore over the past five years, of which around Rs 2 .5 crores during the 2020-21 pandemic.
The Lok Sabha Secretariat said in its response to a Right to Know (RTI) request made by Chandra Shekhar Gaur of Madhya Pradesh that it had received an invoice from the Railways for the travel of incumbent MPs and former MPs from 2017-2018 to 2021-2022 totaling 35.21 crore and 26.82 crore, respectively. Moreover, even in the pandemic-hit year 2020-21, when their expenditures were $1.29 crore and $1.18 million, respectively, MPs and former MPs continued to use their rail passes.
According to the regulations, sitting members of the Indian Parliament are entitled to free travel in executive class or first class on the railways, and with certain restrictions, their wives are also eligible.
Former MPs are also permitted to board any AC-2 class train with a partner or AC-1 level if traveling alone.
Invoices are sent to the Lok Sabha Secretariat for processing by the Railways Payroll and Accounting Department. A number of incentives given by the railways to specific categories of passengers, including the elderly, have recently been suspended.
Although there was some moderate outrage over resettlement among some groups, there was a lot of outrage over the elimination of the old age allowance.
Official statistics show that the railways failed to provide discounts to 7.31 crore senior citizens between March 20, 2020 and March 31, 2022. Among them were 8,310 transgender people, 2.84 crore women elderly and 4.46 crores of elderly men.
Edited by Prakriti Arora