Pakistan Railways is suffering a loss of Rs9.2b, said Railways Minister Ghulam Ahmed Bilour.
He added that efforts were underway to overcome this loss by improving services. Bilour said this in a written reply to a question in the National Assembly on Friday. He said that it had been decided to replace the Railways fleet of old passenger coaches with most modern Chinese coaches which were equipped with latest facilities.
Similarly, he said that the Railways was promoting freight traffic as a policy and reliable locomotives were being inducted for freight trains besides purchase of high-speed freight wagons.
To another question, Bilour said that the Asian Development Bank (ADB) would provide $500m to the Pakistan Railways for doubling of track from Shahdara to Lalamusa and Shahdara to Faisalabad. Similarly, he said, the World Bank sanctioned $25m for restructuring and modernisation of the Railways. Country expects 24m tons wheat this year Pakistan is expecting to produce up to 24m tons of wheat during the current season, which is above the country’s requirements.
Parliamentary Secretary for Food and Agriculture Liaquat Ali Khan stated this while responding to questions in the National Assembly on Friday during the question hour. He told the house that last year too wheat production exceeded 24m tons and the overall requirement was 23m tons, thus there was a surplus of 1m tons.
He rejected the notion that wheat or wheat flour was being smuggled to Afghanistan as the price of wheat in Pakistan was Rs950 per 40 kg whereas in Afghanistan it was Rs750 per 40 kg. Regarding procurement of wheat, the parliamentary secretary said that the process of procurement had started in Sindh.
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