LAHORE: Pakistan Railways was neglected during the last 15 years but now it would be given priority in the upcoming budget.
It was stated by Federal Minister for Planning & Development Ahsan Iqbal and Federal Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafiq while addressing a press conference here at Railways Headquarters on Monday.
Ahsan Iqbal said that 80 percent of the budget for year 2013-2014 was made before taking charge by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s government but now all priorities would be included according to the manifesto of the PML-N.
He said that Pakistan Railways was under consideration and under the supervision of the Prime Minister, the Railways Minister and his team were making an all-out effort for restoring its glory.
Ahsan said that Lahore-Karachi-Peshawar railway track would be upgraded by a Chinese company due to which trains would easily run at over 140 km/h.
He said that developmental funds were also under consideration and all needs of Pakistan Railways including new locomotives, coaches, modern signal system and other facilities would be provided.
“No funds have been released for the upgradation of any railway station over political affiliation and three stations, Nankana Sahib, Narowal and Hasan Abdal, would be upgraded soon because the cities have religious places of Sikhs who arrive here every year from India,” he added.
The minister told the media almost all departments were in deficit as former President Musharaf had ignored their developmental Vision 2010 but now Vision 2020-2025 was in the final process.
Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafiq said that privatization of railways was not under consideration. “We are trying to generate Rs 2-3billion more than the target of Rs21.6 billion in six months,” he added.
He said that Ahsan Iqbal had played an important role in attracting Chinese investors to the railway sector.