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Cabinet approves setting up of Rail Development Authority
In a move set to attract investments, the Union cabinet approved the setting up of a regulator for the railways—the Rail Development Authority (RDA). Frank Noronha, principal spokesperson of the Union government said The long-awaited regulator will perform four primary functions—tariff determination; ensuring fair play and level playing field for stakeholder investment; setting efficiency and performance standards; and dissemination of information.
- In Budget 2017, the National Democratic Alliance government made a record allocation of Rs1.3 trillion for the Indian Railways, with gross budgetary support of Rs55,000 crore.
- As part of the radical rethinking on improving the transportation architecture, the government did away with the separate railway budget, merging it in the Union budget presented on 1 February.
- One of the parts is to launch regular passenger river cruise services between India and Bangladesh.
- The cabinet also approved a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between India and Bangladesh for fairway development of the Ashuganj-Zakiganj stretch of Kushiyara river and Sirajganj-Daikhawa stretch of Jamuna river in the Indo-Bangladesh protocol route by undertaking necessary dredging, jointly by the two countries.
- The MoU provides for promoting mutual interaction among judges and officials. It will also encourage mutua the exchange of information on latest developments in the field of law and justice.