CPEC to energise dysfunctional department of railways: PEW

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Railway role systematically reduced to benefit private sector
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Thursday said the role of the railway was systematically reduced to benefit some of the influential transporters which damaged the economy and inflicted losses on the masses.
Transporters are making good profits by ferrying passengers and trade goods but it has resulted in high cost of doing business which is against the national interests, it said.
The railway infrastructure is being improved to cater for the needs of CPEC which will reduce the cost of doing business, increase the competitiveness of businesses and cut annual oil import bill by almost 1.5 billion dollars, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.

He said that railway consumes one-third of diesel for delivering per tonne of freight as compared to trucks which can substantially reduce national fuel consumption and cost benefitting the masses, business community, and the environment.
Three decades back, the Pakistan Railways used to carry 11 million tonnes of freight and provide traveling facility to 110 million people but now the number of passengers has dwindled to 47 million while the volume of freight has come down to 1.6 million tonnes, he added.
Dr. Murtaza Mughal said that railway is not improving at the required pace despite 80 thousand employees but privatization is not the answer to the problem while a change of management may work.
A sincere, honest and efficient team of professionals should be put in place for three years to bring immediate improvements to the Railways department as the significance of a good train system is critical to the economy of the country which is based on a good affordable and an efficient railways infrastructure.
Pakistan Railways is a national asset which should not be sold but improved through the proper intervention of the government.

In: Economy WatchAuthor: AAMIR JAVED