ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Railways Sheikh Rashid Ahmed Tuesday said that government was ready to handover the affairs of Islamabad Dry Port to Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) on public-private partnership basis so that business community could be further facilitated in imports and exports through this dry port.
He said ICCI should submit a comprehensive proposal to government for this purpose so that it could be considered for implementation.
He said this during a meeting with a delegation of Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry that called on him in his office led by its President Ahmed Hassan Moughal.
Rafat Farid Senior Vice President ICCI, Khalid Javed former President ICCI and others were in the delegation.
Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said that Pakistan Railways had already handed over the dry ports of Karachi and Lahore to the private sector and it was ready to handover the dry port of Islamabad to ICCI for provision of better dry port services to the business community.
He said that Pakistan Railway would also improve its cargo train service to facilitate business community in transportation of goods. He assured that all possible measures would be taken to resolve the railways related issues of business community.
Speaking at the occasion, Ahmed Hassan Moughal, President ICCI said that after the introduction of axle road regime, freight of goods transportation through trucks had increased by Rs 1500 to 2000 per ton due to which cost of doing business had gone up significantly.
He said that Pakistan Railways should improve its cargo train service so that business community could use cargo trains as preferred mode for transportation of goods.
He also highlighted various issues of business community that were needed close attention of Railways Minister.
Rafat Farid Senior Vice President ICCI and Khalid Javed former President ICCI said that there was a time when 75 percent of goods were transported through railways, but with the passage of time, standard of cargo train service had deteriorated due to which business community had shifted towards roads transportation.
They said that railways were still the cheapest means of goods transportation in the world and surged Pakistan Railways for improving its cargo train service on modern lines so that it could play effective role in promoting business activities.