Travellers booking Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) package tours in Bengal can now pay in instalments. IRCTC is in talks with several banks to finalise the process of offering EMI service for its package tours.
Zafar Azam, group general manager, east zone, Kolkata, IRCTC, said the facility will first be introduced for the upcoming Swadesh Darshan, a special tourist train to south India, in March 2023. The train will start its journey from Katihar, Bihar, and come to Kolkata before heading for Tirupati, Rameshwaram, Kanya Kumari and Mallikarjun among other places in the south.
“There are three packages — sleeper class, 3AC and 2AC — and the cost is Rs 20,999, Rs 34,500 and Rs 43,000 per head, respectively. While these charges include food and hotel facilities during the trip, if one wishes, he can pay in EMIs as well,” Azam said.
Persons opting for the EMI service will have to pay 10% to 15% of the entire loan amount as down payment and the rest of the amount in instalments over a year or two. “The logistics are yet to be finalised, but we will make sure that the people do not feel the financial pinch,” Azam said. For every 10 bookings, one booking will be free of charge.
“This is a step towards Prime Minister Modi’s dream of a digital India. Besides, several private tourism companies have been providing the service and IRCTC should not lag behind,” Azam added.
Even though this service is available only for package tours, there are possibilities that it would be incorporated into the general ticketing services as well.