Increasing trains’ speed is Pakistan Railways’ priority and Upgradation of ML I is necessary.
ISLAMABAD: Sh. Rasheed Ahmad, Federal Minister for Railways, met International Monetary Fund (IMF) delegation at Ministry of Railways on Thursday. Teresa Daben Sanchez, Resident Representative IMF Pakistan was heading the delegation.IMF delegation was interested in finding out measures to reduce fiscal deficit of Pakistan Railways and to reduce its dependency on government’s subsidy. Sh. Rasheed Ahmad, Federal Minister for Railways expressed that Pakistan Railways is aware of IMF role in improving economy. During discussion, he mentioned that the speed of train should be increased. He made it clear that Pakistan Railways can earn profit by increasing its freight sector. “We want to increase freight trains’ number to 8 to 15”, he added. He was very clear that ML I (Karachi-Peshawar) should be upgraded on priority. He declared that right now Pakistan Railways has broad gauge but gradually it will be changed into standard gauge. He showed interest in constructing an extra standard gauge line at Karachi-Hyderabad. On a question from IMF team on Public Private Partnership (PPP), he said that Pakistan Railways is open to PPP. He said that for improved working Pakistan Railways should make a consortium with various parties. The meeting was also attended by M. Javed Anwar, Chairman and M. Yusuf, DG Planning.
Sh. Rasheed Ahmad, Federal Minister for Railways, will leave for China visit on Thursday with PM Imran Khan. During his visit Pakistan Railways’ projects under CPEC and upgradation of ML I, II and III will be discussed. He will also have side meetings with authorities of National Railways Administration (NRA), National Development Reform Commission (NDRC) and China Railways Engineering Group(CREC).