Railways has introduced 33 per cent of sub-quota for women in the allotment of food stalls at rail premises as a special provision in the new catering policy. The new catering policy was launched recently by Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu as promised in the Rail Budget 2016-17. The allotment of quota for women in catering units aims to empower women economically, according to a senior IRCTC official. IRCTC, railways’ catering PSU, is responsible to implement the new policy. As per the new policy, a sub-quota of 33 per cent out of the reserved catering stalls would be alloted to women, he said.
Currently 25 per cent of the minor catering units are reserved for various categories like SC (6 per cent), ST (4 per cent), BPL (3 per cent), OBC (3 per cent), Minorities (3 per cent), freedom fighters (4 per cent) and physically challenged persons (2 per cent) in major stations. While in other category stations, 49.5 per cent catering units are reserved for various categories like SC (12 per cent), ST (8 per cent), OBC (20 per cent) and minorities (9.5 per cent).
The policy allows 33 per cent sub-quota for women in allotment of each category of minor catering units at all category of stations. Under the provision, Railways shall ensure that women participation does not fall below a specific level. The sub-quota reservation for women in each category shall ensure allotment of minimum 8 per cent stalls to women at major stations and minimum 17 per cent at other category stations, the IRCTC official said. There are approximately 8000 minor catering units in Indian Railways.