New Delhi: Indian Railways will adopt a"completely transparent e-tendering process" to utilise its capital expenditure of Rs 1.22 lakh crore for 2016-17, Union Minister Suresh Prabhu has said. He said the Railways is trying to ensure that end-users and vendors use e-wallets, in line with the government's thrust on cash less transactions post demonetisation.
"Railways capex this year would be about Rs 1.22 lakh crore. All of that we have already decided that we will go in for a completely transparent e-tendering process. All contracts will be available on the e-tendering platform. "We are trying to make sure that end users will also use either the wallet or whatever the form of payment, but they will not use cash. Each vendor will use an e-wallet," Prabhu said.
Addressing an awards ceremony organised by EEPC India here yesterday, he said the benefits accruing from demonetisation "will outweigh to a great extent the cost that we are going to suffer out of it". He advised exporters to get their complete value chain digitally connected to become more competitive in the global market.
As for the short-term difficulties, the Railway Minister said "difficult days do not last long". He termed demonetisation as a good opportunity to move to
cashless transactions. The minister pointed out that 58 per cent people use cash for buying railway tickets in the country. Therefore, he said, the thrust towards cash less transactions was bound to cause some disruptions.
"As far as the Railways is concerned, most of the people who travel by it are middle class or common people and 58 per cent of them use cash to buy ticket.
"You can imagine that people want to use a mode of transaction which is available to them in an easier manner and this will obviously create some disruption, any change brings disruption. What is important is the management, the cost of disruption should be calculated in context of the benefit that will accrue out of it," Prabhu said.