Inching a step closer to setting up an independent regulatory body, ministry of railways has sent a Cabinet note for the institutionalisation of the Railway Development Authority (RDA).
“The Cabinet note for independent regulator has been signed by railway minister Suresh Prabhu and we have sent it for Cabinet approval,” said an official from the ministry of railways requesting anonymity.
The independent regulator would oversee private investment and arbitration, regulate tariff to rectify passenger and freight imbalances, and ensure safety overview.
Another official from the ministry confirmed the development on grounds of anonymity.
Queries mailed to the spokesperson of the ministry of railways on 23 February remained unanswered.
InfraCircle on 23 September had reported that the plan to set up RDA may get delayed as the ministry of railways was in quandary about adopting the executive or the legislative route.
In 2014, the National Transport Development Policy Committee, headed by economist Rakesh Mohan, had recommended setting up a Rail Tariff Authority which should finally become the rail regulator encompassing other regulatory functions in addition to tariff.
This move was supported by the government’s think tank, the National Institution for Transforming India Aayog. It recommended the setting up of an independent regulator by the end of financial year 2016-17.
Prabhu in his last Budget speech had said that the ministry will be ready with the draft bill after holding consultations with stakeholders.
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