Private firm will study the functioning of Railway to resize its manpower

NEW DELHI: Railways has kicked off a restructuring exercise with the intent of pruning additional officers in the ‘top-heavy’ organization by appointing a private firm Deloitte which will suggest ways to right size its manpower of gazetted officers.

With the hiring of a private HR audit firm, the national transporter has taken the first step in its bold decision to rationalize staff strength. The national transporter, which is the biggest government employer with around 13.36 lakh workers on its payroll, employs 18,000 gazetted officers.

Rl-1Deloitte, which will work in coordination with National Academy of Indian Railways, Vadodara, will submit its report by March 2016. The private firm will study the functioning of various departments in zonal and divisional headquarters of railways with focus on technological inputs and achievements made in each department.

It will also take up study of reduction of workload on account of outsourcing of activities. An official said the company will examine the railways’ manpower given the technological developmentchanges in operational and maintenance practices and suggest optimal level of staff strength needed in coming years.

Several independent expert committees have observed that staff cost (including pension) is the single most significant expenditure item for the railways and have suggested rationalizing the number of employees. Railways has over the years become overly centralized, top heavy and hierarchical and allegedly suffering from ‘departmentalism’. The Bibek Debroy panel had suggested immediate intervention to right-size the railways’ bench strength which is eating up the cash-strapped transporter’s resources.

Source: ET