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Prabhu ropes in Vinod Rai to infuse transparency in Railways

Former CAG might take up the assignment without a fee

BS Reporter  |  New Delhi 

Vinod Rai
Vinod Rai

Vinod Rai, the former Comptroller and Auditor General of India, is likely to head a committee to suggest ways for infusing more transparency in the functioning of Indian Railways (IR).

Rai is widely credited with taking the former government to account for the various legal breaches which led to the telecom spectrum and coal block allocation scams.

The committee would be the first assignment from the government which Rai would be taking after retiring last year.

“A decision has already been put in place that takes away the power to approve tenders from the minister, based on Sreedharan’s (E Sreedharan, the noted implementor of metro rail projects, asked to suggest better business practices at IR) recommendation. Now, the minister has asked Vinod Rai to look at (bringing in) complete transparency in the railways,” a top ministry official told reporters, asking not to be named.

The terms of reference for the committee are yet to be finalised but a person privy to the process said minister Suresh Prabhu had asked Rai to choose who else should be on the panel. Rai is likely to take up the assignment without a fee, in public interest.

Prabhu had promised to turn around the operational and financial position of IR, immediately after assuming charge last month.

He had begun by setting up the single-member Sreedharan panel, to improve transparency in systems and operational processes, including tendering for award of works.


C G Somiah
CAG from 1990-1996; headed a committee set up to vet Air India’s Rs 35,000-crore fleet acquisition plan in 2005

V K Shunglu
CAG from 1996-2002; headed various committees including those on corruption allegation in conduct of Commonwealth Games 2010; financial position of power distribution utilities; displacement caused by Sardar Sarovar Project; the demand of Indian Institutes of Management for a fee raise; he was part of the prime minister’s empowered committee to select excellent IAS officers in 2007

V N Kaul
CAG from 2002-2008; currently serving on the eminent persons advisory group, Competition Commission of India

First Published: Tue, December 23 2014. 00:48 IST