Fares on premium trains come down after GST fixed at 5 per cent
Fares on premium trains like Rajdhnani, Duronto and Shatabdi Express have been slashed, courtesy a reduction in GST charged on food items.
From Monday, food and drink articles sold on trains and platforms by Indian Railways and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) have come down. Plus the cost of ticket for premium trains which includes the price of meals too will come down. This comes following the finance ministry's clarification that the GST applicable on food and drinks that is served to passengers on trains and even on platforms and railway stations by IRCTC will be at a uniform 5 per cent. Earlier, it was 18 per cent.
This also means that catering charges levied in premium trains may see a significant cut between Rs 40 and Rs 60 per ticket, depending on the class of travel and distance.
Earlier, the Central Board for Excise and Customs (CBEC) had issued orders that a flat 5 per cent GST would be charged on food and drinks with the sellers getting no benefit of input tax credit.
The move hit the exploitative profiteering of railway licencees who used to sell same products at different prices and charge exorbitant rates. Often a lack of clarity added to the confusion.
Since the launch of GST, different rates were being applied for mobile and static catering in Indian Railway, but not anymore.
The impact of slashed GST rate is showing. From Monday, the revised rates of food items sold by IRCTC authorised licencees in express and superfast trains came into play.
Rates of popular food items that have come down -
1) Chicken biryani will cost Rs 89/plate compared to Rs 100
2) Egg biryani Rs 61/plate. Earlier it was Rs 69/plate
3) Medu vada Rs19/plate. Earlier it was Rs 22/plate
4) Masala dosa Rs 18/plate. Earlier it was Rs 21/plate.
Rail travellers would have to pay Rs 2 to Rs 4 lesser for various other items like soups, veg noodles and rice.
However, the cost of items under the IRCTC control segment like tea, coffee, Rail Neer, standard breakfast and economy meals will remain unchanged as these are GST exempt.