Grade 1-16 pensioners to be paid Rs6b: Rashid

Federal Minister for Railways Sheikh Rashid on Saturday announced that the government would pay Rs6 billion to all pensioners from grade 1 to 16 within one-and-a-half month as the retirees had been waiting for the dues for the last four years.

He made these remarks while addressing a news conference in Karachi on Saturday.

The minister noted that as many as 14 kilometers track of Karachi Circular Railways (KCR) had been cleared up to Orangi and maintained that “we are ready as we have done our work and [now] it is work on the part of Sindh government to build underpass and bridges”.

He observed that 15 out of 40 KCR coaches been prepared and added that the remaining 25 coaches would be ready by the time the provincial government constructed the bridges and underpass.

He said the government wished to extend the CPEC from Karachi to Peshawar and then to Jalalabad as the trade volume could increase.

On the elections in Gilgit-Baltistan, Rashid said that he expected positive outcome in the region after the polls and added “we would see whether losers accept the results not”.

Deliberating on PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif’s anti-establishment narrative, he appreciated Bilawal Bhutto Zardari’s clarification in a recent interview where the PPP chairman had stated that no decision had been taken to speak against any institution in the meeting before the PDM’s first public meeting.

“The PML-N and its leadership is taking the politics to a closed alley,” he said, adding “during my [entire] career as politician, I did not see any political leader who did not prefer dialogue over any other option.

He reminded that the premier had clearly said that the government was ready to hold dialogues on all issues except the NAB cases and NRO-like relief.

Responding to a question, he said there was neither a chance of presidential system nor any martial law in the country maintaining that the government would complete its constitutional tenure.

Rashid said five freight trains had been privatised while 12 passenger trains would be privatised soon as it had increased the revenue of the railways by 25%.

“The government will privatise all freight trains because they are generating more revenues,” he reaffirmed, articulating that privatisation did not mean to handing over all the things to private sector but the government would have the power to oversee the matters.

On Tijori Height issue, he asked the poor to be careful from landgrabbers who had occupied the railways property “illegally”. With input from APP

This article originally appeared on The Express Tribune