In a major initiative to bring transparency and speed up decisions on tenders, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu has dissociated himself from the process and empowered zonal railways and heads of production units to finalise them.
Currently, railways is plagued by long delays in tendering-related decisions. According to the new directions, considered the first step towards internal reforms in railways fiscal administration, all cases for acceptance of works and stores tenders, which as per extant delegations are referred to Railway Board, will now be dealt with and finalised by Zonal Railways and Production Units.
Full powers have been delegated to General Managers and Director Generals of production units as tender authority in this regard, said an official statement.
The step is expected to put General Managers and heads of PSUs in the driver's seat with regard to tendering process.
According to the new guidelines, in respect of stores and works tenders which are to be invited solely by Railway Board, it has been decided that for tenders up to Rs 500 crore (Rs 5 billion), Tender Committee will consist of concerned Executive Directors and will be accepted at the level of concerned Additional Members who will be the Tender Accepting Authority.
For tenders valuing more than Rs 500 crore (Rs 5 billion), Tender Committee will be at Additional Member level and Tender Accepting Authority will be the concerned Board Member.
For tenders being accepted at the level of Executive Directors and below, the existing practice will continue.