Food Billing Compulsory on Trains
Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has introduced the use of Point of Sale (POS) machines to implement compulsory billing of food aboard trains to overcome overcharging, Railway announced through the press release on 21.03.2018. Indian Railways has adopted a stern policy: “if no bill, your food is free”. Food billing compulsory on trains details are following.
IRCTC Introduces POS Machines on Trains to Implement Food Billing Compulsory on Trains
The first POS machine has been made available on the SBC-NDLS Karnataka Express on pilot basis. The Railways said that 100 more POS machines will be commissioned on 26 trains in the next phase. This is part of the Railways’ new ‘no bill, no payment’ policy wherein passengers have been asked to not pay for food or even a cup of tea if they do not receive a bill from the vendor during a train journey.
Railway Minister Piyush Goyal has taken this policy decision so that passengers insist on bills and that prevents train caterers from charging more than the price. Overcharging forms the lion’s share of all complaints related to railway catering on a majority of mail/express trains where the price of food is not built into the ticket fare. By March 31, all trains where food is served on payment basis should have this policy in place. Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has started publicizing this message on its ticket-booking website. It has also started deploying inspectors to make sure that every transaction is fair in terms of prices charged, and a bill issued, even if it is as small an item as a cup of tea.
According to assessment by ministry officials, the bulk of the problem is because the food servers refuse to give a bill to passengers even when asked to do so, claiming various excuses such as there being no bill book, or that a bill would be provided at the end of the journey or they would give a bill only after the food service time was over.
IRCTC is also deploying its officials aboard trains for the purpose of monitoring the catering services. These officials are being provided with Tablets (Tab) which will be used for collection of passenger feedback.
Minister of Railways Piyush Goyal has reportedly asked Indian Railways to make sure that the no bill, free food policy is put in place by March 31. IRCTC has started informing passengers of the new policy through its ticket booking website.
In addition to these, a 5 per cent discount is provided for digital payment of catering services. The date to avail this facility has been extended upto March 31, 2018. Also, under the new catering policy 2017, provisions have been made for installation of cashless transaction facilities like POS, swipe machine etc. across all mobile and static units.