"Minister of Railways Suresh Prabhu in his speech for Rail Budget 2015-16 had said that for orderly development of infrastructure services, enabling competition and protection of customer interest, it is important to have a regulation mechanism independent of the service provider", said a ministry statement.

The National Transport Development Policy Committee (NTDPC) Report of 2014 and Bibek Debroy Committee Report had also recommended a regulator with overarching functions.

The key functions of the envisaged regulator encompass fixing tariff, ensuring a level playing field for private investment in railways, determination of efficiency and performance standards and dissemination of information among others, the statement said.

Encouraging market development and efficient allocation of resources would also be some of its added functions.

Through an executive order, the future regulator will have a chairman and four other members with experience and knowledge in railways, infrastructure, finance, law, management and consumer affairs, the statement added.