To avoid delay in railway projects, the Chairman of the Railway Board (CRB) and zonal general managers (GMs) have now been given powers to overrule any technical objections raised by the finance wing. The CRB can now take the final decision on projects in case a difference of opinion arises between the Financial Commissioner (FC) and other board members, according to a recent order issued by the Railway Board.
The Financial Commissioner is the top-most authority in the Railways to manage finances. The move is in line with the recommendations made E Sreedharan committee constituted by Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu in November 2014 with a view to find ways to delegate tendering and commercial powers to the executive. The committee’s report was submitted in March 2015.
It is a step towards ensuring that key rail projects are not slowed down by technical objections raised by the finance wing, said a senior Railway Ministry official. “In the event of a difference of opinion between the Financial Commissioner and other members of the Railway Board, the members may bring such cases to the notice of the CRB bringing out financial observations and detailed remarks thereon. The CRB will have full powers to take the final decision by recording a reasoned order,” said the order issued by Railway Board Secretary RK Verma.
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The step is expected to check incidences where objections raised by the FC and the ensuing arduous exercise of getting clearance were cited for delay in project implementation. The new rule will also be applicable at the zonal level where the GMs will have the final say in case of differences among financial advisers and other executives.
“It will help in fixing accountability and make executives responsible for their decisions,” the official said.