Making the chairman of the railway board — the Chief Executive Officer — and providing for a unified cadre for railway are among the major reforms the Modi government is in the process of finalising.
Aimed at bringing in business discipline in the functioning of the country’s public transporter, the revamp plans are also seen as ‘enabling measures’ to attract private investments including Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) to boost infrastructure development in India’s rail sector.
Setting up a Rail Tariff Authority (RTA) for providing a level playing field to all stake-holders also forms part of the plans.
With the fare and freight hike and the budgetary exercise out of the way now, railways minister DV Sadananda Gowda is now focusing on the organisational reform plan to separate policy and execution functions, sources said.
The restructuring plans largely flow out of the recommendations of the Sam Pitroda-headed modernisation group report submitted in February 2012.
Empowering zonal general managers to execute sanctioned works without interference from the railway board and including experts and other stakeholders in policy making are among the other recommendations of the Pitroda committee.
Because of the policy dilemmas of the UPA government and resistance of officials and unions, the restructure plans had failed to take off. The decision on setting up the RTA has been hanging fire despite parliamentary approval.
Posts for the RTA Chairman and members were advertised on January 27 last year.
“The new government is taking a comprehensive view on such matters and the organisational reform measures will shortly be unveiled,” sources said.