Govt-to-govt fees for support and services to end

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NEW DELHI: Government departments will soon stop charging each other for support and services.

The decision was taken at a meeting of infrastructure ministers, including those for road, rail, power, petroleum, environment and telecom, on Tuesday as such payments were simply getting transferred from one government department to another. The move will reduce time taken for approval. The infrastructure ministries will sign MoUs with each other to make a beginning.

The meeting was chaired by highways and shipping minister Nitin Gadkari.

Sources said government departments currently levy different types of fees, including maintenance charge and recurring staffing charge. “There are huge governmentto-government bookings because of the present practice, which must end.

These are government-to-government payments. However, the payment for getting land will be kept out of this new module,” said an official present at the meeting.

The ministers also set up a panel of secretaries to look into the modalities for sharing infrastructure for utilities such as water and gas pipelines, telecom cables and other similar facilities. The committee, under the telecom secretary, will submit its report in one month.

Another major decision taken at the meeting was allowing the highways ministry and its wings to build rail overbridges (ROBs), a pilot which has been successful in Maharashtra. At present, both road and rail ministries are involved in the construction of ROBs.

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