Railways to introduce E-ticketing this year

LAHORE: The Pakistan Railways will introduce Electronic Ticketing (E-ticketing) system during the current year and work on it is almost completed.

This was revealed by Pakistan Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique while talking to the media persons at the Railway Station here on Friday after inaugurating a refurbished and up-graded rake of Karachi Express train.

He said United Bank Limited had offered its services regarding the E-ticketing; however, other A-class banks would be welcomed in case of competitive charges.

The minister said Rs 65 million had been spent on upgradation of the train and several modern facilities had been introduced in the train.

He said when services and facilities were provided, expenditures also go up.

However, the PR had not increased fare of the train and only some concessions had been withdrawn.

He said the fare of all classes of Karachi Express train was the same as the fare of the Business Express train.

He said the reduction in the petroleum prices did not affect the income as the raise in salaries and other facilities to the employees affect the expenses of the department.

The minister said expected earning of the train would be Rs3.95 million per day.

He said so far three trains had been upgraded and this process would continue, adding that a train, Musapak would be upgraded in the next month, while rake of Pakistan Express train, which runs between Rawalpindi and Karachi via Wazirabad-Faisalabad, would also be refurbished and upgraded in June.

He said the PR had to bear the burden of Rs 1.50 billion due to the increase in salary package of the federal employees by the government.

He said work on several projects, including the China Pakistan Economic               Corridor, upgradation of the railway stations and provision of missing facilities at railway stations were underway.

He said the PC-1 for purchase of 200 locomotives was also being prepared for the next financial year and only that firm would be welcomed in this regard which would ensure manufacturing of 75 percent locomotives in Pakistan.

He said that carriage and locomotive workshops were also being made operational in their full capacity.

He said that passengers of every class of society travel by trains therefore various types of trains and fares were being introduced, according to the buying capacity of the passengers.

To a question about former president Pervez Musharraf, he said the media and opponents had criticized when some ministers had given statements against him (Musharraf) and it was said these ministers wanted to create tension between the government and the defence forces.

But, he added, now when the government had removed the name of Musharraf from the Exit Control List after the court’s orders, the same people were again criticising the government.

He said that Pervez Musharraf had promised before the courts that he would come back after his medical treatment.

The minister said the focus of the government was on working for betterment of the nation.

To another question about the statement of Pakistan People’s Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, the minister said he would comment on his statements when he (Bilawal) would be a grown-up.

The PR chief executive officer Javaid Anwar Boobak, PR Police Inspector General Muneer Ahmad Chishti and other senior officials were also present.