Rs11bn approved for an ailing Railways -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Rs11bn approved for an ailing Railways

TAHIR AMIN

ISLAMABAD: The Cabinet Committee on Restructuring of Public Sector Enterprises on Friday approved Rs 11 billion for Pakistan Railways to make it financially viable.

The committee, which met here with Finance Minister Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh in chair, focused on revitalisation of Pakistan Railways. This was in continuation of a high-level meeting held the other day.

The Cabinet body decided to provide Rs 6.1 billion through a banking consortium for rehabilitation of locomotives, Rs 4 billion will be provided through re-prioritisation of Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) for 2011-12 for improvement of tracks and rolling stock while the line of credit from Pakistan State Oil (PSO) to Railways has been increased to Rs 2 billion to ensure smooth supply of oil to the ailing department.

Rs 15 billion have already been allocated for Railways in PSDP; release for which shall be fast tracked, the body decided.

The committee deliberated on all issues of Railways in great depth, vowing that all concerns and requirements of the department would be addressed.

It is expected that due to addition of locomotives, improvement of tracks and rolling stock and enhanced credit line from PSO, PR would again become a viable entity and provide reliable service to the people of Pakistan.

The Cabinet committee directed the Ministry of Railways to restore the services of suspended freight and passenger trains in the shortest period of time.

It also decided to strengthen the Board of Pakistan Railways, which shall be notified within one month.

The Board shall have representation from all four provinces and will also include professionals and experts of Railways and a strong mix from private sector.

The executive committee of PR is also being strengthened to further improve its management.

The committee reiterated that the government of Pakistan was fully committed to reinvigorating Railways to provide reliable, competitive and economical service of high standards to the masses.

The meeting was attended by Haji Ghulam Ahmed Bilour, Minister for Railways; Maula Bakhsh Chandio, Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs; Ghous Bux Khan Mahar, Minister for Privatisation; Dr Nadeem ul Haque, Deputy Chairman Planning Commission; Finance Secretary; Secretary Ministry of Railways; DG (ERU) and officials of Railways Ministry.
Source: Business Recorder
Date:8/6/2011