Railways shake up under way


Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani has ordered a major shake-up of the Pakistan Railways (PR) following recent funding problems and the threat by the railways minister that he would resign if the finance ministry did not release key funding.

The decision has been taken to close all non-productive railway lines and to put the freight operation and key passenger services into a public private partnership (PPP) arrangement. The freight system will start operating on the new system by 25th December this year and the Lahore Karachi Business Express is to get an additional Rs1.5bn in funds.

The finance ministry has also agreed with a banking consortium to rehabilitate 96 locomotives at a cost of Rs6.1bn.

A number of key organisational changes are to be made to the railways to ensure greater efficiency in the future and the whole project will be monitored by the Cabinet Committee on Restructuring (CCOR).

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