The Centre has approved the setting -up of a Rail Development Authority (RDA) according to Piyush Goyal, Union Railway Minister.
In a reply to the Parliament, Goyal said that the RDA’s mandate is to advise the government on policy related issues. These include:-
- Pricing of services commensurate with costs.
- Measures for enhancement of non-fare Revenue.
- Protection of consumer interests, by ensuring quality of service and cost optimization.
- Promoting competition, efficiency and economy.
- Encouraging market development and participation of stakeholders in the rail sector and for ensuring a fair deal to the stakeholders and customers.
- Creating positive environment for investment.
- Promoting efficient allocation of resources in the Sector.
- Benchmarking of service standards against international norms and specify and enforce standards with respect to the quality, continuity and reliability of services provided by them.
- Providing framework for non-discriminatory open access to the Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) infrastructure and others in future.
- Suggesting measures to absorb new technologies for achieving desired efficiency and performance standards.
- Suggesting measures for human resource development to achieve any of its stated objectives.
IR -SNCF partnership
A three party FEXTE (Fund for Technical Expertise and Experience Transfer) partnership agreement has been signed between French National Railways (SNCF), French agency AFD and Indian Railway Stations Development Corporation Limited (IRSDC) on June 10, 2019, Goyal said.
The features of technical assistance for this agreement are:
- Training and capacity building
- Tender and bid preparation
- Selection of a partner, Advisory Support and Service Level Bench marking Study
SNCF will bring in experts in fields of capacity building, Ticket on Departure (TOD), Station Management, Retail and Finance.
The French Agency (AFD) has agreed to contribute seven lakh Euros in kind to the French National Railways (SNCF) for assisting IRSDC in the development of railway stations in India.