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Amendments to update railways act planned

LAHORE: Certain amendments will be introduced to the Railways Act 1890 to update it, while a merit-based induction policy for Pakistan Railways (PR) will also be devised.

A decision to this effect was taken at a meeting presided over by Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique at the PR headquarters in Lahore on Saturday. The meeting also decided to restructure the service structure of railway employees and to fill up hundreds of posts lying vacant to meet future challenges, especially the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

The meeting decided that Advocate Ahmar Bilal Soofi and other known lawyers would be consulted for finalising the proposed amendments to the 1890 Act, which would be presented before parliament in the form of a Bill.

The meeting was attended by Railways board Chairwoman Parveen Agha, Chief Executive Officer Javed Anwar, Adviser to the Minister Anjum Pervaiz, CPEC team leader Ashfaq Khattak, Director General (Legal) Tahir Pervaiz, Railways police Inspector General Munir Ahmad Chishti and other principal officers.

This is not the first time amendments to the law have been planned. In 2011, Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, the then chairman of the National Assembly Standing Committee on Railways, had sought help from four retired officers in examining an inquiry report prepared by a three-member committee regarding abnormal decrease in availability of locomotives, which was seriously affecting freight operations and reducing passenger services.

The four retired principal officers had proposed: “Old organisational set-up of the Railway Board may be restored by re-designating the posts of additional general managers as member mechanical, member traffic and member engineering whereas the post of member finance already exists with the ministry of railways.

“The set-up was tried for more than three decades without any problem but was changed on the recommendations of Irish consultants appointed by the World Bank,” said retired engineers Asad Saeed, Aurangzeb Khan, Anwar Saeed and Iqbal Khatri.

In 2014, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif decided to restore the old organisational set-up of the Railways Board.

courtesy : dawn news

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