NEWS : After the historic decision to merge the rail Budget with the general Budget, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu had cited setting up of an independent regulator to determine tariff as per the market demand as the topmost priority for the Railways.
WHY SHOULD WE HAVE INDEPENDENT REGULATOR ?
Orderly development of infrastructure services, enabling competition and protection of customer interest.
Bibek Debroy Committee Report had also recommended a regulator with overarching functions.
Many of the countries like U.K, Russia, US, Australia, Germany have regulatory structure in some form or the other
FUNCTIONS : The Authority will undertake four key functions:
Ensuring fair play and level playing field for private investment in railways.
Determination of efficiency and performance standards.
Dissemination of information.
NATURE OF FUNCTIONS : The Authority will discharge functions in a manner
to protect the interest of consumers, ensuring quality of service,
encouraging market development,
efficient allocation of resources,
provide non-discriminatory open access specially on DFC and
to benchmark service levels for ensuring quality, continuity and reliability of service.
NOT ITS FUNCTIONS: Policy-making, operations and maintenance, financial management and compliance of safety standards would not fall under the purview of the regulator.
HOW SETUP ? The Authority can initially be set up through an executive order( PMO SAID NO TO THIS) and can be subsequently strengthen through a legislation process.
1+4 : The Authority will consist of Chairman and four other members who have experience and knowledge in railways, infrastructure, finance, law, management and consumer affairs.
Independent Railway Authority will be setup to enable fair pricing of services, promote competition, protect customer interests and determine efficiency standards within Ministry of Railways.
Chairman and four other members will be appointed by the president by warrant under his hand and seal.
MCQ 2. NONE :
ST 1 : Setting Up Of Rail Development Authority :Ministry of Railways brought out for public consultation a concept paper on setting up of Rail Development Authority of India which envisages an independent Authority housed outside Ministry of Railways for functions such as tariff determination, ensuring fair play and level playing field for private investments, setting efficiency and performance standards and dissemination of information.