Plan panel Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia on Wednesday welcomed the initiative to set up a Rail Tariff Regulatory Authority for rationalising fare and freight rates, in the Railway budget.
Ahluwalia has been pitching for setting of such authority for long and on many occasions advocated an hike in passenger fare for mobilising more resources for the Railways.
"I am happy that there is some acknowledgement. That is a very good initiative if they carry it through," Ahluwalia said when asked whether he is satisfied on this development.
While presenting the Rail Budget for 2012-13 in Lok Sabha, railway minister Dinesh Trivedi announced constitution of a committee to look into the proposal of setting up an independent Rail Tariff Regulatory Authority.
Trivedi said there have been suggestions for creation of such a body, but since it requires serious debate, he had decided to set up a body of experts to examine it.
He said he was contemplating a system of segregating fuel component in the cost associated with passenger services and call it FAC (fuel adjustment component).
"The FAC will be dynamic in nature and will change in either direction with the change in fuel costs," he said.
He also informed the House that there had been no hike in passenger fares in the last eight years.
Though Ahluwalia refrained from commenting on passenger fare hike, he said his view on the issue has not changed.