All railway contracts to be online soon: Prabhu

New Delhi, Nov 24 (IANS) The process by which all Indian railway contracts will be tendered online is to be completed in the next two months as part of an overall transparency drive, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu said on Tuesday.

“All tenders will be put on the e-platform in the next two months. We have targeted early next year to complete this process for transparent functioning,” Prabhu said here while addressing the 95th annual session of industry chamber Assocham.

“The level of transparency has gone up to an extent where minister is not involved in a single rupee worth of tender. All decisions are being taken at the professional levels,” he said.

“With 1.3 million employees, the Railways is also putting in place a transparent transfer and posting policy along with a fair system of recruitment,” he added.

The minister said the government’s Digital India programme is being used by the Railways in providing e-catering with new facilities like base kitchens.

All the commercial nature decisions are taken at professional level and the ministry has delegated most of the power to general managers, he said.

“In the coming years, substantial change will happen in the sector,” Prabhu said.

Regarding structural reforms, Prabhu said the Railways is trying to frame a regulatory system.

About financing projects, he said: “In the last one year or so, the situation has changed so much that despite Railways needing a massive resource, money is just not a problem,” he said.

“Money has been raised from the Life Insurance Corporation at a rate cheaper than the G-Secs”, he added.

“The Railways’ capex spend would include a Rs.40,000 crore order with GE which is the largest order for the global conglomerate,” the minister said.

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