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Federal Minister for Railways offers freight trains to private sector

Lahore, March 13, 2017 (PPI-OT): Federal Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique has offered freight trains to private sector and has given lead role to the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

He was speaking at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Monday. The LCCI President Abdul Basit, Senior Vice President Amjad Ali Jawa and Vice President Muhammad Nasir Hameed Khan also spoke on the occasion. Former LCCI Presidents Shahid Hassan Sheikh and Sohail Lashari, EC members Shahid Nazir, Mian Abdul Razzaq, Mian Muhammad Nawaz, Adana Khalid Butt, Tariq Mahmood, Shahrukh Jamal, Javed Siddiqui, Mudassar Masood Chaudhry, along with Mian Waqar , Ashraf Bhatti, Tanvir Sheikh Khawaja Khawar, Talha Tayyab Butt, Ghulam Sarwar Malik and Mian Muhammad Afzal were present on the meeting.

Minister said that the LCCI to coordinate with Sialkot, Faisalabad and Multan Chambers of Commerce and Industry to plan for freight trains. It would be equally beneficial for economy, businesses and railways.

He said that public-private partnership would help revival and prosperity of this public entity. He invited the private sector to come forward and do business with Pakistan Railways. He said that a number of trains are being outsourced. He said that under public-private partnership highest bid of Rs. 1.80 billion has been given for Shalimar Express and Pakistan Railways would get 1.14 billions more as compared to previous agreement for the same train.

“Pakistan Railways is free of mafia and political influence as nepotism, corruption and undue favor destroys the national institutions. Best leadership has been developed that is playing a fundamental role in uplift of this national strategic asset”, the minister added and said that revenue of Pakistan Railways is considerably growing. It has earned Rs. 36.58 billion as during the year 2015-16 as compared to the fixed target of 32 billion. He said that Pakistan Railways has been planned to manufacturer electric diesel locomotives at Pakistan Locomotives Factory. He said that special attention is being given to Land Management and land record is being computerized. He said that confirmed traffic could be given till Iran while Gwadar would be attached to the National Railway system.

The LCCI President Abdul Basit said that in the recent past, Pakistan Railways was on the verge of collapse but it is a good omen that now situation is quite good but still a lot of work has to be done. He said that railway tracks should be revamped to enhance average speed of trains while Central Traffic Control System should also be upgraded to get rid of untoward incidents. He said that operational engines and power vans that are lying in workshops should be in good working condition as CPEC would add to the work load of Pakistan Railways. He said that service charges at all dry ports should be uniformed that would enhance revenue of Pakistan Railways.

Abdul Basit said that Public-Private Partnership could help resolve issues being faced Pakistan Railways at shortest possible time therefore it should outsource its maximum operations to the private sectors as being witnessed in various other countries.

He said that security system should be foolproof at Pakistan Railways warehouses as a number of LCCI members have complained regarding theft at T-10 shed at Wagha Border.

The LCCI Senior Vice President Amjad Ali Jawa and Vice President Muhammad Nasir Hameed Khan said that Pakistan Railways is one of the largest institutions of the country as it is the most important source of passengers and industrial goods movement across the country. It is estimated that annually over 65 million passengers travel while petroleum products, oil, wheat, coal, fertilizers, cement, sugar and thousands other items distributed through Pakistan Railways but despite having utmost importance, Pakistan Railways is far behind as far as latest technologies are concerned.

They said that public-private partnership would improve railway infrastructure. Pakistan Railways should introduce state-of-the-art wagons which will not only enhance the profit of Pakistan Railways but will also reduce the time of goods movement.

For more information, contact:
Information Department
Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI)
Lahore -54000, Pakistan
Tel: +92-42-111-222-499
Fax: +92-42-36368854
Website: www.lcci.org.pk

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