Rail Development Authority will be independent

New Delhi, Feb 25 (IANS) Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on Thursday said the government will have the draft bill ready for setting up an independent Rail Development Authority to govern the rail tariff and other aspects.

Presenting the railway budget for 2016-17 Prabhu said: “We hope to have the draft bill ready after holding extensive stake holder consultations.”

He said the independence of the proposed institution will be ensured through arms length relationship with the railway ministry and transparent selection process of the people.

The government had proposed setting up of Rail Development Authority last year.

In January 2016, the ministry came out with its concept paper on the regulatory authority for railways.

As per the concept paper the authority will undertake four key functions: fixing tariff, ensuring fair and level playing field for private investment in railways, determination of efficiency and performance standards and dissemination of information.

The 14th Finance Commission in its report had endorsed the railway’s initiative to set up a tariff authority through necessary amendments to the Railways Act, 1989.

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