Ushering in a new pricing regime through a transparent process, Railway Minister Mallikarjun Kharge on Wednesday announced in the Interim Rail Budget constitution of an independent Rail Tariff Authority (RTA) to advise the government on fixing of fares and freight.
Describing the setting up of RTA as "a path breaking decision", Kharge said, "Determination of rates will no longer be an exercise behind veils where the Railways and users could only peep covertly at what was happening on the other side."
The Authority will not only consider requirements of the Railways but also engage with all stakeholders to usher in a new pricing regime through a transparent process.
The RTA is expected to lead an era of rationalisation of fares and freight structures for improving the fare-freight ratio and gradually brining down cross subsidisation between different segments.
According to Railways, this would go a long way towards improving the financial health of the national transporter which will lead to growth to match expectations of the nation and provide stability by minimising volatility of market condition.