Ministry of Railways has prepared a concept paper on Rail Development authority of India which has been uploaded on the Indian Railway website namely www.indianrailways.gov.in. The salient features of the Note are:
- Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu in his speech for Rail Budget 2015-16 had said that for orderly development of infrastructure services, enabling competition and protection of customer interest, it is important to have a regulation mechanism independent of the service provider. The concept paper has been prepared in line with the vision presented by the Minister of Railways.
- National Transport Development Policy Committee (NTDPC) Report of 2014 had recommended that a Rail Tariff Authority should be set up which should become the overall regulator. Later Bibek Debroy Committee Report had also recommended a regulator with overarching functions.
- Many of the countries like U.K, Russia, US, Australia, Germany have regulatory structure in some form or the other.
- The Authority will discharge functions in a manner to protect the interest of consumers, ensuring quality of service, promoting competition, encouraging market development, efficient allocation of resources, provide non-discriminatory open access specially on DFC and to benchmark service levels for ensuring quality, continuity and reliability of service.
- The Authority will undertake four key functions:
o Fixing tariff.
o Ensuring fair play and level playing field for private investment in railways.
o Determination of efficiency and performance standards.
o Dissemination of information.
- The Authority can initially be set up through an executive order and can be subsequently strengthen through a legislation process.
- The Authority will consist of Chairman and four other members who have experience and knowledge in railways, infrastructure, finance, law, management and consumer affairs.
- More details about the Concept Paper can be seen at the website www.indianrailways.gov.in.
- Suggestions and comments from the public are invited. Public comments can be submitted by 30thJanuary, 2016 through email at [email protected]