New Catering Policy in Railways
New Catering Policy has already been notified on 27th February, 2017 with the objective to provide quality food to rail passengers by unbundling of catering services on trains. Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Limited (IRCTC) has been mandated to carry out the unbundling by creating a distinction primarily between food preparation and food distribution. In order to upgrade quality of food preparation, IRCTC shall be setting up new kitchens and upgrading existing ones. New Catering Policy, inter-alia, includes the following features for unbundling of catering services (i) IRCTC shall manage catering services on all mobile units. (ii) Meals for all mobile units will be picked up from the nominated kitchens owned, operated and managed by IRCTC. (iii) IRCTC will engage service providers from hospitality industry for service of food in trains. (iv) IRCTC shall not outrightly outsource or issue licenses for provision of catering services to private licensees. IRCTC shall retain the ownership and shall be fully accountable for all the issues pertaining to setting up and operation of the Base Kitchens and quality of food.
33% sub quota for women in allotment of each category of minor catering units at all category of stations has been provided in the new Catering Policy 2017.
In compliance of provision in Budget 2016-17 that IRCTC would begin to manage catering services in a phased manner, new Catering Policy 2017 has come into effect on 27.02.2017 in supersession of Catering Policy 2010. The implementation and roll out plan will have essentially two sub components:- (i) Take over scheme for static /mobile units both departmental and licensee operated units. (ii) Unbundling implementation including identification of sectors and subsequent sequencing for takeover. Accordingly, in the first phase, IRCTC would take over 52 mobile units and 38 static units over the New Delhi –Mumbai (NDLS-BCT) route within the calendar year 2017 wherein contracts awarded by Zonal Railways through Standard Bid Document will be reassigned to IRCTC for starting the unbundling process.
This Press Release is based on the information given by the Minister of State for Railways Shri Rajen Gohain in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha on 12.04.2017 (Wednesday).