LAHORE: Railways Minister Khwaja Saad Rafique has directed railways top officials to allocate 50 percent of the total profit for Mughalpura Dry Port’s infrastructure development.
The minister was addressing Customs officials, Customs agents, Railways top officials and others on inauguration ceremony held in connection with the arrival of freight trains after many years at the Mughalpura Dry Port. “Spend half of the collected revenue from the Mughalpura Dry Port on its infrastructure development. Revival of economy is priority of the government to put the country on way to progress and prosperity,” the minister stated.
He said the PML-N was answerable to the nation, adding corruption and nepotism would never be tolerated in any department, including the PR. The minister said there was no political interference in his department and he would not even tolerate any interference in work of the PR officers who were running the department efficiently. “I have taken over the charge of the PR by keeping my political affiliation aside,” he added.
He said culture of the PR officers and workers had been changed now. He directed the PR management to form a committee headed by AGM Traffic Javaid Anwar Boobak to evolve a comprehensive strategy for resolving issues of the dry ports across the country.
He said Pakistan and Turkey had signed MoU for the restoration of ECO train from Islamabad to Istanbul via Tehran, adding Indian authorities were also being contacted for transportation of Indian freight to Turkey and Iran.
Lahore Customs Agents Association Ch Amjad, thanking the Minister for Railways said that it was due to the untiring efforts of Khwaja Saad Rafique that Mughalpur Dry Port became operational. He said that at the very beginning of the People Party’s government, arrival of freight trains started declining and within one year, arrival of the locomotive came to a grinding halt which accelerated the business of road containers.
He urged the minister to visit the port once in a month in order to ensure development of infrastructure at the port. “It is for the first time in 20 years that railways track has been cleaned due to the arrival of the minister and walls have been painted,” Amjad said.
The Mughalpur dry port was being run profitably; however, in order to facilitate Karachi investors, Prame Nagar Dry Port was set up at the cost of Mughalpur Dry Port. He urged the minister to develop infrastructure to make Mughalpura Dry Port profitable. He also demanded of the minister to resettle freight fair and loading charges which should be acceptable for all the stakeholders.
PR AGM Traffic Javaid Anwar Boobak, Customs Agents President Agha Iftikhar, customs and railways officials and a large number of workers were present on the occasion.