Eyeing major reforms in Indian Railways, Narendra Modi-led Cabinet approves Rail Development Authority

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New Delhi | Updated: Apr 05, 2017 10:11 PM

Eyeing big reforms in India Railways, Narendra Modi-led Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved setting up of Rail Development Authority of India (RDA). The RDA will be set up as an independent regulatory body in New Delhi. The authority will be responsible for fixing passenger fares and freight charges, among many other things. Earlier, it was […]

narendra modi, Rail Development Authority, Rail Development Authority of india, india Rail Development Authority, indias Rail Development Authority, RDA approvedThe RDA will be set up as an independent regulatory body in New Delhi.(PTI)

Eyeing big reforms in India Railways, Narendra Modi-led Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved setting up of Rail Development Authority of India (RDA). The RDA will be set up as an independent regulatory body in New Delhi. The authority will be responsible for fixing passenger fares and freight charges, among many other things. Earlier, it was reported that Niti Aayog had pitched for legislative route to ensure independence of the authority.

Besides, fixing the fare and freight and fare charges, the authority would also be responsible for ensuring quality of service, promoting competition, encouraging market development, efficient allocation of resources, protecting the interest of consumers,  provide non-discriminatory open access specially on DFC and to benchmark service levels for ensuring quality, continuity and reliability of service.

As per PTI, RDA is considered to be the biggest and first-of-its-kind reform in the rail sector. The independent authority will be meant provide comfort to investors and enhance transparency and accountability. The RDA will be formed through an executive order of the government, according to the cabinet decision.

The need for a rail regulator was raised by various committees for past many years since 2001. This includes Expert Group under the Chairmanship of Rakesh Mohan in 2001, the National Transport Development Policy Committee (NTDPC) in 2014 and Bibek Debroy’s Committee in 2015. As per a PTI report, RDA will act within the parameters of the Railway Act, 1989. RDA’s other responsibilities may include tariff determination and recommending principles for classification of commodities, framing principles for social service obligation and guidelines for track access charge.

The newly-formed authority may also be entrusted with the task of regulating private investment in railways and resolving commercial disputes. National Transport Development Policy Committee (NTDPC) Report of 2014 had recommended that a Rail Tariff Authority should be set up which should become the overall regulator.

With PTI Inputs

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