LAHORE: Federal Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafiq denied any rumours that Pakistan Railways (PR) will be privatised, and said that pilferage, theft and mismanagement were the root causes of the crisis the Railways was in, and the government will introduce transparent mechanism to restructure and make it a financial sound entity.
Instead, the management will introduce a public-private partnership concept to drive the company into profitability. The management will review the contracts of the Business Express, and if loopholes were found, action will be taken against the delinquents.
“Privatisation of Pakistan Railways is completely out of the question,” he said at a public gathering attended by PR officers and subordinates at the Railways’ headquarters on Thursday, where he was due to give policy guidelines.
He said that the Railways was already overstaffed, but from now on all recruitments, transfers and postings will be made purely on merit and without taking any political and administrative pressure.
Although restructuring the Pakistan Railways was a tough task, people will see change within the financial year 2013-14.
Pakistan Railways was the worst among all the sick state-owned companies, as it faced many challenges including obsolete infrastructure, unmotivated workforce, pilferage, corruption and unionisation in all dealings like procurement and auction of scrap material.
The minister warned that no corruption will be tolerated inside the company. Rafiq said that he will rebuild Pakistan Railways, but it will take some time to revive the crisis-hit company.
Responding to a question, he said that acute shortage of locomotives, oil pilferage and mismanagement were some of the greater challenges faced by Pakistan Railways.
We will restructure vigilance directorate while posting competent and honest officers to catch corrupt elements and corruption within the company.
I have already warned the management to minimise delays as it was injustice to the commuters who choose to travel with Pakistan Railways.
Austerity will be promoted in the Railways and the minister said that he will not take salary from the company.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 14th, 2013.
Like Business on Facebook to stay informed and join in the conversation.