- Railways minister says govt wants to ensure provision of better dry port facilities to the business community
ISLAMABAD: Railways Minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed said on Tuesday that the government was ready to hand over the affairs of Islamabad Dry Port to the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) on a public-private partnership basis in order to facilitate the business community.
“ICCI should submit a comprehensive proposal to the government in this regard so that it could be considered for implementation,” the minister said during a meeting with an ICCI delegation, led by its President Ahmed Hassan Moughal.
ICCI Vice President Rafat Farid Senior, former president Khalid Javed and other senior officials were also present in the delegation.
Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed said that Pakistan Railways had already handed over the dry ports of Karachi and Lahore to the private sector and it was ready to hand over the dry port of Islamabad to ICCI to ensure the provision of better dry port services to the business community.
He said that Pakistan Railway would also improve its cargo train service to facilitate the business community in the transportation of goods.
He further stated that all possible measures would be taken to resolve the railway-related issues of the business community.
Speaking on the occasion, ICCI President Ahmed Hassan Moughal said after the introduction of axle road regime, freight of goods transportation through trucks had increased by Rs1,500 to Rs2,000 per tonne due to which cost of doing business had gone up significantly.
He said that Pakistan Railways should improve its cargo train service so that the business community could use cargo trains as a preferred mode for transportation of goods.
ICCI SVP Rafat Farid said that there was a time when 75pc of goods were transported through railways, but with the passage of time, the standard of cargo train service had deteriorated due to which business community had shifted towards roads transportation.
He urged Pakistan Railways to develop its cargo train service on modern lines so that it could play an effective role in promoting business activities.