Railways scraps service charge on food items not opted for during booking of tickets


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A Vande Bharat Express train

NEW DELHI: Now your morning tea on board Rajdhani, Shatabdi, Duronto or Vande Bharat express trains won’t cost Rs 70 even if you order it during the trip. The Railway Board has done away with the provision of “service” charge levied on food items ordered by travellers who don’t opt for catering services at the time of booking tickets.
The issue of “service” charge collected by the ticketing and catering arms of railways, IRCTC, for instant ordering of tea and food on board became a big issue after some rail passengers posted how they ended up paying Rs 50 as “service” charge for a Rs 20 cup of tea. The photos of the tax invoices had gone viral on Twitter and other social media platforms recently.
Though breakfast, lunch and dinner ordered while travelling will cost Rs 50 more for such passengers than the ones who have opted for catering while booking tickets, the charges for morning tea will be the same for both the categories of passengers.
In a circular issued to IRCTC, the Railway Board has specified the catering charges for tea, breakfast, lunch and dinner for both the categories of passengers in pre-booked trains such as Rajdhani, Duronto, Shatabdi and Vande Bharat. The circular says the prices are inclusive of GST, meaning there will be no additional charges.
It adds the charges for all food items will be the same for both the categories of passengers in such trains, if any pre-paid train is running late.
As per the earlier norm, if a passenger does not pre-order any food while booking a ticket, he needed to pay a service charge of Rs 50 while ordering any item during the trip.

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