Tuesday June 18, 2019
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Indian Railways gets Rs 1.5 lakh crore boost from LIC

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By Newsgram Staff Writer

In what is described by the railway ministry as “one of the largest funding for the Indian Railways”,  Life Insurance Corp (LIC) committed Rs.150,000 crore to Indian Railways for development of various commercially viable projects.

The investment will be done in bonds, over a period of five years. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the finance and the railway ministry.

On the occasion, railways minister, Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu said that the investment will make Indian Railways prosper in the future, encouraging initiatives and lead to speedier execution of projects.

Speaking on the occasion, the Railway Minister said that this is the first such step in its endeavour to make Indian Railways prosperous in the future. He said that with such encouraging initiatives, the Ministry of Railways will be able to augment its resources for speedier execution of projects. Prabhu said that the resultant enhanced throughput of traffic is likely to further increase the capacity to carry more to meet with a growing transportation demand leading to a robust economy.

Under this MoU, LIC will make available to the Ministry of Railways/its entities a Financial Assistance with a limit of 1,50,000 crore over the next five years for implementing Railway projects. The Financial Assistance will be available from the Financial Year 2015-16. In his Budget Speech, Shri Suresh Prabhu had announced his intention of meeting a part of the total Plan Budget of Rs 1,00,011 crore for the financial year 2015-16, through extra budgetary resources, such as market borrowings by tapping low cost long term funds. The challenge has been successfully met in a substantial measure by the signing of this MoU for mobilising resources.

There would be a five-year moratorium on interest and loan repayment and the rest of the terms would be negotiated while signing the finance assistance agreement.

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Top Railway Appointments Show A Tint of Favoritism

Many railway officers now complain that they were deprived of opportunity to apply for the posts. They argue that the ministry should not have put the conditions if they had to be bypassed or waived.

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Railway Board should be promoted to Senior Administrative Grade and posted as Executive Director, Pay Commission-II, Railway Board. Pixabay

Two new key appointments in the Indian Railways have come under the scanner as the officers selected for these senior positions don’t seem to meet the hiring rules.

In one case, the ministry ignored the mandatory cooling-off period required between two tenures, and in another, an officer was promoted so that he could just meet the requirements for the new post.

The officers who were left out are planning to approach Railways Minister Piyush Goyal to lodge a complaint.

The Railways Ministry in an order on April 1, 2019 said that Navin Kumar, Senior Administrative Grade/Indian Railway Service of Electrical Engineers, should be posted as Executive Director (Establishment) on return from deputation to the National High Speed Rail Corporation Ltd (NHSRCL).

He was selected following a vacancy notice in February this year which required a mandatory three years cooling-off period between two tenures.

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In one case, the ministry ignored the mandatory cooling-off period required between two tenures, and in another, an officer was promoted so that he could just meet the requirements for the new post. Pixabay

Navin Kumar does not seem to meet this criteria given that he was sent to the NHSRCL in August 2017 for a period of six months or until further orders, according to a Railway Board order.

In the other case, Mahendra Kumar Gupta was posted as Executive Director, Pay Commission-II in the Railway Board.

The vacancy for this post had required the applying officer to be in Senior Administrative Grade but clearly Gupta did not meet this criteria at the time of application.

“Shri Mahendra Kumar Gupta, IRPS, Railway Board should be promoted to Senior Administrative Grade and posted as Executive Director, Pay Commission-II, Railway Board,” the railway ministry order dated April 16, 2019 said.

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The officers who were left out are planning to approach Railways Minister Piyush Goyal to lodge a complaint. Pixabay

An IANS query on the issue sent on Monday (April 29) remained unanswered despite repeated requests for a response.

Also Read: Shiv Sena Dissociates Itself From The ‘Burqa’ Ban Demand

Many railway officers now complain that they were deprived of opportunity to apply for the posts. They argue that the ministry should not have put the conditions if they had to be bypassed or waived.
“Our only grievance is that we were not given fair chance,” said an aggrieved officer. (IANS)