New Delhi: Railways should have an autonomous regulatory authority which is accountable to Parliament and not the government, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu said here today.
“There is no choice but to have a regulator. Because if you want private sector to come, then you need to have to have a regulatory authority,” Prabhu said at a CII conference here.
He said this when asked to comment on the Bibek Debroy committee’s recommendations for setting up of an independent regulatory authority to attract private investment in railways.
The Debroy committee, in its interim report, has recommended constitution of an independent regulatory body to provide a level-playing field to private players, who have been reluctant to enter the railway sector.
“Complete independence is not possible but ateast to some extent autonomous. You have to provide them facility, staff and other resources required for its functioning,” the Minister said.
“It should be accountable to Parliament and not to the government and that is very essential,” Prabhu added.
The Debroy committee has recommended that Railway Regulatory Authority of India should have the powers and objectives of economic regulation, including, wherever necessary, tariff regulation, safety regulation and fair access regulation.
Prabhu said the only question is how to do it and how to make it in a better way.
The panel has advocated that the regulator should have independent budget and it must be set up statutorily so that it is truly independent of the Railway Ministry.
Prabhu also said there is a need for reform in railways accounting system.
On this occasion, Suresh Prabhu had presented CII President Award to Azim Premji for having specially contributed for the development and growth of Indian industry.
During the occasion, Suresh Prabhu said that Azim Premji’s contribution is not only in the overall institutional change that he had brought in the indian industry, but in the way the business was done combining the technology, social aspirations, governance and impeccable administrative capabilities he has exhibited in the last more than 35 years made him the recipient of the prestigious Award.