Federal Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique has announced that Pakistan Railways has decided to reduce passenger trains fares up to 5 per cent.
The decision has been taken in the wake of decrease in the prices of petroleum products so that the effects can be transferred to common man. This announcement was made during a media talk in Islamabad on Thursday.
The minister said that fare of different passenger trains were to be reduced from 3 to 5 per cent depending upon the profitability and passenger load on the trains. He hoped that this reduction in the fare would provide a common man an economic and safe mode to travel.
“Although, the expenses on lubricants and fuel are only 18 per cent of the total, even then we have decided to reduce the fares,” the minister maintained.
He also informed the media persons that the present government was taking steps to improve facilities to the passengers which include betterment in dining car services, improvement of facilitations at railway stations, purchase of new engines and railways vans, and infrastructure improvements.
The minister said for providing quality food to the passengers during their travel, dining car service now being run on non-profit basis, and quality food and crockery had been provided. He said even critics had appreciated this improvement in facilitation.
While commenting on closure of Kohat – Rawalpindi Rail Car Service, the minister said that the railway track between Rawalpindi and Kohat needed improvement as passengers, prefer travelling by road, and train was running under losses. “Our prime focus are those routes where passengers prefer to travel by train, however, in the later stages other route also be taken up,” the minister declared.
Answering a question, he said that Karachi Circular Railways was domain of the provincial government; however Pakistan Railways was ready to provide land and technical facilitation for this project.
Rafique also took notice of the media report about the loss of his luggage on Lahore airport and categorically cleared that his luggage was neither stolen nor misplaced on LahoreAirport and news reports in this regards were completely baseless and misleading and were result of irresponsible journalism. He advised the media persons to verify the facts before issue any breaking news.
Khawaja Saad Rafique while commenting on his recent visit to Saudi Arabia for Umrah said that during his visit he had meetings with the Pakistani community and Pakistani consulate there. He noted that Pakistanis working in Saudi Arabia contributed a handsome amount in their economy in the shape of remittances, so their problems in Saudi Arabia were to be taken up in the cabinet. He said the government would ill take every step to resolve their problems.