Partiality Ends For PSUs: Open Tender Must For Rs 2 Lakh Crore Railway Contracts
As per the latest development, the Ministry of Railways going back on its earlier policy said that PSUs, including those owned by Indian Railways, will now have to compete in the open market with their private counterparts in an order.
More Competition For PSU’s
The earlier policy mandated that the Railway Board screen and award work to eligible public sector undertakings (PSUs).
Basically, the order which was issued on October 26 takes away a level of protection PSUs enjoyed as part of the policy formed in 2019 by former Railway Minister Piyush Goyal.
Further adding that “All such work awarded under the existing scheme for which Letter of Award has not been issued or a Memorandum of Understanding signed or no major contractual obligation undertaken in any form will also stand canceled with immediate effect,” in its order.
How Does This Help?
This order will help in reducing the paybacks and also bring in more competition resulting in lower Railways’ costs, officials from the Railway Ministry said.
Under this new policy, now the zonal railways will float tenders in the market and the contract would be awarded to whosoever wins the bid whether a PSU or any other company.
According to the officials, “This in effect cuts out a layer in the process which will save both time and money. It also will weed out corruption and even monopoly of certain groups,”.
So far, the Indian Railways’ yearly capital spend has reached Rs 2,15,058 crore.
Out of which, over Rs 1 lakh crore was allocated in the General Budget.
Indian Railways Operating Special Trains
In another development, the Indian Railways has started operating special reserved trains as unreserved trains in the East Central Railway zone from October 26.
13 pairs of special trains will run with unreserved seats.
Reserved second sleeper class coaches have been converted to unreserved coaches.
The move adds convenience for travelers who can buy tickets for the unreserved coaches just a few minutes before the train’s departure.
Passengers will have to adhere to Covid-19 protocol.
The complete list of East Central Railway zone trains along with its unreserved coaches can be accessed here.