ISLAMABAD: Minister for Railways Sheikh Rashid Ahmed here on Thursday said that punctuality of top 20 passenger trains of Pakistan Railways reached 90 percent while of some trains was around 79 percent.
During the meeting of Senate Standing Committee on Railways at Parliament House, the minister said that passengers prefer to travel in railways due to the punctuality of trains.
The Committee met under the chairmanship of Senator Muhammad Asad Ali Junejo and the meeting was attended by Senators Kulsoom Parveen, Khanzada Khan, Gianchand, Mirza Muhammad Afridi, Brig (R) John Kenneth Williams, Qurat ul Ain Marri, and other senior officials of the Ministry of Railways.
The Minister said that new passenger train Rahman Baba will be launched on December 23 and installation of tracking system will also be functional on December 25. “Pakistan Railways has started ten new passenger trains in the first 100 days of the government due to the untiring efforts of the employees,” he added.
Sheikh Rashid said keeping in view the efforts of railway employees, he had requested Prime Minister Imran Khan to grant up-gradation to the employees. “Pakistan Railways has earned Rs 100 million by selling of tickets in a day,” adding that two new freight trains will also be started by the first week of January for generating more revenue.
The minister said that Pakistan Railways has generated Rs two billion more revenue as compared to last three months of the year. He said only 7 to 12 percent fares were increased for the passenger trains.
He said that Pakistan Railways will add two new freight trains and the first will be inaugurated on December 25 and the second in the first week of January.
Sheikh Rashid said that all the Divisional Superintendents have been directed to take steps to keep students safe in schools and playing ground along the railway tracks. He said that Pakistan Railways bore a loss of Rs 2 billion by removal of billboards on the directives of Supreme Court as the value of one board was Rs 1.4 million.
The minister said that present government had sent three cases of Pakistan Railways to National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in first 100 days. “Pakistan Railways is going to build a modern Railway Station in Rohri, Sindh soon, adding that a Shopping Mall will also be developed along the station,” he added.
Asad Ali Junejo directed the officials of the Ministry of Railways to provide a detailed report regarding the punctuality of passenger and freight trains. He was of the view that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project was reflective of the friendship of two countries and the project should not be disrupted in any way.
Sheik Rashid said that CPEC was the brainchild of China and priority will be given to the Chinese government in this regard.
The committee was briefed about the accidents that occurred on the railway network during the year 2017- 2018 and unmanned level crossings across the country.
HR Ministry committed to facilitate pensioners
ISLAMABAD: Joint Secretary of Human Rights Commission Muhammad Kamran said here Friday that the Ministry will look into the grievances of pensioners and will facilitate them accordingly.
He said that it is pensioners’ fundamental right to get a pension at their old age when they need it the most. He said that further amendments will be done in legislation for their old age benefit. The Ministry is fully committed to make smooth way for all government’s employees so that they can live their life with ease, he added.
He further said that the Ministry will take several measures to provide them pension with ease and comfort in their old age. He said that the incumbent government is committed to provide equal opportunities for the development of all citizens particularly senior citizen.
China issues heart-shaped commemorative coins
BEIJING: Two heart-shaped commemorative coins, one gold, and one silver have been issued by China’s central bank.
Chinese characters Jixiang, meaning auspiciousness, dominates the obverse of the two coins, while the reverse sides are decorated with traditional patterns such as a dragon, phoenix, lotus, jade and pearls, all symbols of auspiciousness and fortune.
Weighing three grams and 30 grams respectively, the gold and silver coins have a face value of 50 yuan (about 7.46 U.S. dollars) and 10 yuan separately.
Apart from the pair, the new set of commemorative coins featuring China’s auspicious culture also includes five round coins.
One silver coin, with a face value of 20 yuan and decorated with the patterns of pomegranates and chubby kids, symbolizes a big and prosperous family.
Another pair bearing the patterns of a cat, a butterfly, stones and auspicious flowers indicates longevity, while the other pair decorated with the images of magpies and plum flowers, symbolizes a joyful life.
The maximum circulation of the coins range from 5,000 to 20,000, and the set is available for sale since Thursday, according to a central bank statement.
IC of Red Cross keen to participate in Belt and Road Const.
BEIJING: The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is keen to participate in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) for partnership on humanitarian assistance, a senior ICRC official has said.
Jacques Pellet, personal envoy of the ICRC President for China, spoke to Xinhua ahead of the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation to be held from April 25 to 27 in Beijing.
Stating that China’s global influence was growing very fast, Pellet said the ICRC wanted to connect more with China, not only in Beijing but also in other places where it works.
“The ICRC has been working in many countries along the Belt and Road. When we first learned about the initiative, we found it very important to look at,” he said.
Pellet said that the ICRC was also eager to bring its perspectives and working experiences in humanitarian assistance into countries affected by conflicts along the Belt and Road.
“My wish is that, by working together, by focusing on development, and by supporting humanitarian assistance, we can step by step overcome humanitarian challenges faced by these countries,” he said.
Pellet also commends China for its greater responsibility in carrying out the United Nations (UN) peacekeeping missions globally.
As a permanent member of the UN Security Council, China today participates in global affairs. “In many places, including places where conflict and violence exist, ICRC is working,” he said.
China first participated in UN peacekeeping missions in 1990, when five military observers were sent to Syria. Since then, China has contributed the largest number of troops to UN peacekeeping missions and the second largest share to the UN peacekeeping budget.
“We see the efforts China has spent in peacekeeping is growing very fast, and we want to strengthen our cooperation with Chinese peacekeepers,” he added.
The BRI, which refers to the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, aims to build a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe, Africa and beyond.