NA standing committee approves PSDP budgetary proposals


National Assembly’s standing committee on Railways has given approval to budgetary proposals related to Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) 2016-17. The committee Chairman Syed Naveed Qamar, while briefing the media at Pakistan Railways Headquarters on Friday, said that Rs 46.422 billion had been allocated under the PSDP for the year 20116-17. He said that 98 per cent of the allocation would be spent on the ongoing projects, and remaining on the new ones.

He said that the proposals, approved by the standing committee at its 15th meeting, would be sent to Ministry of Finance for approval, and would be made a part of the finance bill for the year 2016-17.

Naveed Qamar informed that the meeting also discussed the status of railways cases currently being probed by National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

He said that four cases had been disposed off after thorough investigation and probe was underway into the others. He hoped that all investigations would be concluded transparently.

Later, Federal Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique told the media that an agreement on e-ticketing would be signed by June, and gradually the new system would be fully implemented.

He said that up-gradation process of trains was in progress and Pakistan Express Train would be inaugurated in June after the completion of the process.

The minister said that in three to four years, upgradation of all trains would be completed. The PR wanted to bring down its deficit from Rs 27 billion to Rs 25 billion, he said, and added that the government had announced facilitating the pensioners and the department would try its best to contain its current deficit in lieu of the increased expenses. Responding to a query, he said that a plan to facilitate porters will be implemented in near future.