In a big push for reforms in the Indian Railways, the Union Cabinet Secretariat has asked Railway Ministry to work upon multiple recommendations such as the mergers of Rail Vikas Nigam (RVNL) into IRCON and also that of Rail Tel into IRCTC.
The proposals have been made as part of a report on rationalisation of government bodies. The report has been prepared by the central government’s Principal Economic Advisor Sanjeev Sanyal.
The report has been drawn out following a detailed study regarding the structure and distribution of the Railways Ministry.
Other proposals include the RITES’ takeover of Braithwate & Co, roping 94 Railways-run schools under the ambit of the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sanghatan (KVS), upgrading around 125 Railway hospital through an institutional mechanism and also by opening up these for the public.
The recommended framework also suggests wounding up the Centre for Railway Information Systems (CRIS) and handing its work and responsibilities to the IRCTC.
Meanwhile, the public-private partnership (PPP) model has been recommended for revamping the schools and hospitals that are operated by the national transporter.
According to an Indian Express report, in a recent note sent to the Railways, the Cabinet Secretariat has asked Suneet Sharma, Chairman and CEO, Railway Board, to update it on the actions taken on the recommendations in the first week of every month.
“It (the report) has now been sent to all key departments… all these require serious discussion with all members of the Railway Board,” a senior officer from the Railways Ministry was quoted by the Indian Express regarding this report.