–Minister asks contract officers receiving high salaries to quit within one week
–Reiterates that he is looking to lease out railways land, other assets to private sector
LAHORE: Federal Minister for Railways Sheikh Rashid Ahmad on Saturday said that eight cases of the department were being processed by the National Accountancy Bureau while another four were ready to be registered.
“A case of purchase of 59 locomotives on higher prices is being referred to NAB for it to initiate a legal action against the culprits, while another one is related to Shalimar Hospital,” said the minister during a press conference in the provincial capital.
The Shalimar Hospital is one of the busiest hospitals of Lahore’s suburban areas. Constructed on a piece of railways land worth billions of rupees, the hospital’s lease period has expired.
To a question, the minister said that no letter against former minister Khawaja Saad Rafique had been written to the anti-graft watchdog.
Rashid also asked contract officers receiving high salaries to quit their jobs within one week and added that young officers would be encouraged to work for the betterment of Railways.
“We will find a middle way for 4,000 employees on contract,” said the minister, adding that effective measures would be taken to improve the living standards of railway employees and new residences would be built for them.
He reiterated that he was looking to lease out railways land, and other assets to the private sector and added he was searching for private parties that could revamp railway stations for free, claiming that many overseas Pakistanis have already shown their willingness to work for railways — free of cost.
“We invite private parties to upgrade five railway station sites, for free,” he said, adding: “We do welcome new ideas for railways and will build up a website for that.”
He said that the railways’ funds issue would be taken up at the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) on Monday, and after an approval from the ECC, the case would be approved by the cabinet.
“Hopefully, by the end of one year, railways will be uplifted,” he said.