ISLAMABAD, Feb 11 (APP):Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar Tuesday asked the Financing Committee of Railways Mainline ML1 project to expedite its work by engaging with the Chinese side to finalize terms and conditions of financing of the project.

The financing committee for the project was constituted by the Planning Commission which has been looking into the modalities for implementation of the project with the regard to the terms and conditions of the financing.

The committee had already asked Economic Affairs Division (EAD) to advice the Chinese side of the government of Pakistan’s readiness for execution of the project under China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

Chairing a meeting here to review the present status of preparation and processing of PC-I of the ML-I project and the Pakistan Railway Strategic Plan, Asad Umar said the government was keen to improve and upgrade the railway infrastructure in the country and ML-1 is the most important project in this regard.

Advisor to the Prime Minister for Institutional Reforms & Austerity Dr. Ishrat Hussain, Deputy Chairman Planning Commission, Secretary Planning, Secretary Railway and senior officials of both Ministries participated in the meeting.

The meeting was informed that the umbrella PC-1 of the project was under review in the Planning Commission.

Considering the significance of the project as well as the scale of financing required for the project, the Planning Commission is carrying out the required due diligence is consultation with all relevant stakeholders.

For this purpose the commission also arranged a consultative workshop on the project in the last week of January 2020.

The minister said that improvement of efficiency, freight services and providing quality traveling facilities to commuters was the government’s objective.

He emphasised the need for devising a holistic strategy for developing and upgrading infrastructure across the country and fill connectivity gaps for sustained national growth.
The minister asked that the railways should expedite the reaming work of 3rd party review so that the same could be processed for approval at the earliest.

He stressed on the Railways ministry that the institutional reforms are inevitable for sustenance of Railways and for its future operation and maintenance of the system.

In this regard, the Railways should implement reforms and improve the organizational structure to be able to handle a much bigger infrastructure.

The minister said that apart from ML-1, the Karachi Circular Railway was also an important project in the same sector.

He said the government wants to finalize and implement both these projects. Secretary Railways expressed the desire and readiness of the Ministry for executing both the projects at the earliest.