‘All passenger coaches to be manufactured locally from next year’

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  • Sheikh Rasheed says PM Imran Khan will inaugurate Thal Express on Feb 11

ISLAMABAD: Railways Minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad said on Friday that all passenger bogies would be manufactured indigenously at the Pakistan Railway Carriage Factory (PRCF) from next year.

Addressing the PRCF workers, he said, “I promise that no passenger coach will be imported from next year onwards and that all the passenger bogies will be manufactured in Pakistan Railway Carriage factory.”

He alleged that the previous rulers ignored PRCF in order to “get kickbacks on the import of bogies”, adding that the performance of Pakistan Railways had declined due to the wrong policies of the previous government.

He said that Prime Minister Imran Khan would inaugurate a new train ‘Thal Express’ on February 11.

“Two freight trains have been launched recently while efforts to launch two more are underway. Besides, a VIP passenger train would be launched on March 30 while more passenger trains would commence operations soon. During the next five years, there would be an effective network of railways across the country,” he asserted.

The minister on the occasion announced to make the budget of Pakistan Railways from its own resources. He claimed that 20 new trains had been launched with PR’s own resources while the same number of trains would be launched in the coming days. “All credit in this regard goes to the employees of Pakistan Railways.”

The minister apprised the audience that Pakistan Railways had earned Rs2 billion additional profit from passenger train service in the last six months. He also announced Rs3,000 honorarium each for the employees of PRCF.

Sheikh Rasheed said a summary had been moved to the prime minister with regard to the regularisation of 144 employees of the factory, adding that the remaining employees would also be regularised soon.

He vowed to bring the salary package of Railways Police at par with Punjab Police.

The minister lamented the government’s decision to appoint Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shahbaz Sharif as Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chairman.

“How can a person involved in corruption be appointed as the PAC chairman?” he asked, asserting that no deal or relaxation would be given to anyone.

The minister also visited different areas of the carriage factory and interacted with workers busy in the manufacturing of coaches.

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