New Delhi, Nov14(TruthDive): Railway projects completed on time will see the team behind it get a cash incentive of 2% of the total cost, is the new mantra of Railway’s minister Prabhu. If they miss the deadline, the team will get adverse comments in their performance report, which will lead to barring of increments and promotions. Many projects that are funded and designed are not completed on time.
Railway among many other government departments have become notorious for the delay and leading to hike in costs. PM Modi has given around 30 projects that should change the fortunes of Indian Railway. Prabhu’s explanation is that due to delays, the cost of the project goes up and if this avoided , then the 2% will hardly be an excessive burden considering the amount saved. Railway Board was told of this policy decision and has been told to find a way to implement it. The cash incentive percentage level has been left to the Railway board, but told that it should not exceed 2 %. This amount will be added to the project cost.
As scarcity of funds remain a problem, Prabhu has suggested that railway lands across the country be given as security to raise money from banks. The board has been asked to give monetary value of land it owns. Yet another decision is that the board should work only as a monitoring agency and leave the implementation to officers below it. Similarly GM level approval of tenders of commercial nature should be done and it need not come to Railway minister’s approval. The Board has been asked to put out a note on delegation of power to the officials, with necessary safeguards to prevent any misuse.
Each department in the Railway will have to set a benchmark and this should be on par with global standards. Yearly review of the performance in comparison to the standards set will be done for five years. On December 1, The Board will submit a white paper on the financial health of the department. This will be presented to the Parliament before the next Railway budget. Prabhu is now with PM Modi at the G20 summit.The board would have to come out with the global standards, it has set for three years in relation to projects, safety and passenger satisfaction.
Projects worth Rs 1,57,883 crores for 676 projects in the past 30 years was sanctioned, and till date only 317 projects could be completed . Due to delay in 359 projects, the cost has risen to Rs 1,82,000 crore. PM office has selected 30 priority projects and allotted funds accordingly.