Ministry of Railways has prepared a concept paper on Rail Development authority of India which has been uploaded on the Indian Railway website www.indianrailways.gov.in.
Minister of Railways Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu in his speech for Rail Budget 2015-16 had said that for orderly development of infrastructure services, enabling competition and protection of customer interest, it is important to have a regulation mechanism independent of the service provider.
The concept paper, thus prepared in line with the vision presented by the Minister, said based on the National Transport Development Policy Committee (NTDPC) Report of 2014, a Rail Tariff Authority should be set up which should become the overall regulator. Later Bibek Debroy Committee Report had also recommended a regulator with more functions and modeled after the countries like U.K, Russia, US, Australia, Germany which have regulatory structure in some form or the other.
The Authority will discharge functions in a manner to protect the interest of consumers, ensuring quality of service, promoting competition, 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.
It will undertake four key functions:
– Fixing tariff.
– Ensuring fair play and level playing field for private investment in railways.
– Determination of efficiency and performance standards.
– Dissemination of information.
The Authority can initially be set up through an executive order and can be subsequently strengthen through a legislation process.
The Authority will consist of Chairman and four other members who have experience and knowledge in railways, infrastructure, finance, law, management and consumer affairs.
Public comments can be submitted by 30th January, 2016 through email at railwaydevelopmentauthority