For the first time, the government is inviting suggestions from the public for formulating Railway Budget 2015-16. Railway minister Suresh Prabhu will present the second budget of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government in February. Among the other new and unique initiatives taken by Prabhu is creation of a database of the officials having IIT or IIM background.
Discussing the initiative taken by Prabhu, a source close to the development told dna, “The railway ministry has sought suggestions from the general public on the upcoming budget. Also, the minister has called for a list of officials who have degrees from the Indian Institute of Mass Communication and Indian Institute of Technology. This list has been compiled and has been handed over to the minister.” Prabhu also desired to know the area of educational specialisation of the officials having IIM, IIT background.
According to sources, this database is being made to deploy the internal resources on specific subjects such as funding models, revenue sharing of infrastructure projects and model concession agreements so that the dependence on outside consultancies could be reduced.
The suggestions to the railway ministry for the budget could be provided on the website of the ministry. The suggestions could be made under 13 heads. These include computerisation, electrical, finance, foot over bridge, freight, infrastructure, land, railway lines and crime prevention.
There is also an innovative ideas head under which suggestions could be given to the railway ministry. The initiative was launched last week, but the sources did not disclose what suggestions have come till date. The suggestions are being collected at a place and will be forwarded to the concerned departments for evaluating whether it could be taken up for consideration in the budget.
Funding of the already announced railway projects, which will require Rs 4-6 lakh crore, is one of the key focus area in the budget. Already, two committees are working on the fundraising aspect of Railways, and will come out with reports soon.