Bansal bid to revive tariff watchdog plan
By Express News Service | Published: 22nd November 2012 09:52 AM |
Ruling out a rail fare hike in the near future, Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal said his ministry was instead contemplating creation of the Fares Regulatory Authority for the Railways. Despite being asked repeatedly about a possible hike in rail fare, Bansal said, “We will have to wait for a fare hike.”
The proposed authority will be on lines of the other economic authorities with full autonomy. However, on being asked when would the Authority come into being Bansal said, “Can’t guess when it comes into being.”
“We will depoliticise the Railways. To keep the Railways in good physical health its economic health also needs to be good,” Bansal said.
On being asked if the Railways is in the intensive care unit because of poor financial health, the Minister said, “The Railways is not in the ICU but it is under tremendous pressure. How can an entity that carries over 2.30 crore passengers, employing over 14 lakh people be in ICU. It is under pressure but kicking,” the minister said.
Bansal’s predecessor CP Joshi had first mooted the idea of a fares regulatory authority, which however never saw light of the day.