इंडियन आवाज़     30 Nov 2023 04:08:32      انڈین آواز

Committee on Railways recommends abolition of Railway Budget

Our Correspondent —

indian-railwayThe Bibek Debroy Committee on the proposed restructuring of Indian Railways has recommended to phase out the Railway Budget with gross budgetary support to Indian Railways. It suggests establishment of a independent regulator to decide on tariffs to revamp the cash-strapped railways. The committee says that there is need not only to improve the internal resource generation and explore varied methods of financing but also to improve utilisation of available resources. The committee said, the panel has not recommend privatisation of Indian Railway, but only the recommend, participation in projects by the private sector.

In a major recommendation, it has proposed separation of activities like running of hospitals, schools, catering, real estate development, manufacturing of locomotives, coaches and wagons from the core business of running trains. State governments should be asked to entirely fund the Government Railway Police (GRP) and the General Managers should have the freedom to choose between private security guards and RPF for security on trains.

The committee has also recommended establishment of an independent regulator, Railway Regulatory Authority of India (RRAI), with a separate budget and to be independent of the Ministry. The committee said, once the changes of the first five years are implemented, including the resolution of the social cost issue.

The high-level committee was formed in September last year to restructure the Railways and suggest ways for resource mobilisation.

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