Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, urging him to restore the railway fare concession for senior citizens. Kejriwal argued that no society or country can progress without the blessings of its elderly. He pointed out that the Centre has a budget of Rs 45 lakh crore and would incur a cost of just Rs 1600 crore if it extends the concession to senior citizens, which he described as a “drop in the ocean”.
Kejriwal said it was “unfortunate” that the rail ticket concession scheme for the elderly had been terminated and monetary constraints cannot be the reason for it. He cited his government spending Rs 50 crore in the annual budget on a scheme for free pilgrimage, which shows that financial constraints should not be an issue.
Kejriwal tweeted, “Please do not stop the concession given to the elderly in the railways. Crores of elderly people are benefiting from this concession.” He argued that by stopping the facility, a message was being given to senior citizens that the government did not care for them, which goes against the culture of the country. He added that no person, society or country can progress without the blessings of the elderly.
According to Kejriwal, Delhi was seeing progress in all areas due to the blessings of the elderly for whom free pilgrimage of religious places has been arranged by his government. He wrote to the prime minister, appealing him for restoration of 50 per cent rebate to elderly in railway fare.
The Centre had discontinued the concessions granted to senior citizens in 2020 to discourage the movement of the public to arrest the spread of Covid-19. Kejriwal argued that the reason cited by the central government to stop the scheme was its financial implications, but in reality, this does not make any sense. He said monetary constraints cannot be the reason for stopping this concession and it is about intentions. By paying Rs 50 crore for the Mukhyamantri Teerth Yatra scheme from its annual state budget of Rs 70,000 crore, the Delhi Government does not become poor.