ISLAMABAD: A spokesman of National Logistic Cell (NLC), Ministry of Planning and Development Division said on Wednesday that army has no role whatsoever in Nato supplies as erroneously reported in some section of the media yesterday.
NLC is a government controlled “Crisis Management Organisation” attached with Ministry of Planning and Development and run by National Logistic Board (NLB), he said in a press statement issued here.
The spokesman said the board is chaired by Minister of Planning and Development/Finance Minister and has Deputy Chairman Planning Commission, four federal secretaries and Quarter Master General of the Pakistan Army, who is also the Officer In Charge (OIC) of the organisation in its composition.
All major decisions on behalf of the organisation are taken by NLB, which holds its regular board meetings, and the last one was held on March 6, 2012, he added.
The spokesman said the movement of logistics is the core business of NLC which includes transportation through air, sea, rail and road infrastructure. Since 1978, Freight Sector of the Organisation is providing national services, not only during natural disasters, but also during strikes, port congestions, shortages etc without causing any financial burden on national exchequer.
It is a well known fact that transportation of goods through railway is a much cheaper mode than road.
NLC started the goods transportation through railway as early as in 2009, when a separate service unit NLC Express Freight Train (NEFT) was raised in the organisation.
This business unit has so far run over 60 freight trains successfully with full cooperation of Pakistan Railways.
However, with the depleting state of railway engines, freight trains were accorded lower priority and eventually no locomotive was available for freight services since November 2010. As of today, only one train is running per day in the freight sector.
He said NLC decided to adopt a three prong strategy to run, repair and acquire its own freight capability, not only to boost the freight cargo, but also to extend assistance to Pakistan Railways (PR) at the time of need.
Hence, it was decided to repair 30 railway engines through NLC resources. NLC will return 15 repaired engines to PR for passenger use after repairs.
The concept and its implementation steps were taken to NLB, chaired by the Minister of Finance during its 46th and 48th meetings and requisite approval of the board was sought. The PR was also comfortable in its agreement with NLC.
He said regulation, control and monitoring of US/ISAF/Nato supplies remains a task assigned to the organisation by the government through a decision through ECC in November 2002.
The spokesman said no charges of any sort were levied on Nato from November 2 to Febraury 8 from coalition forces.
A service charge of Rs 1000 was levied by the organisation in February 8, to meet its operational cost. The same were increased to Rs 2000 in August 2009 and subsequently to Rs 10,000 in July 2010.
All charges were presented and approved by NLB, before these were implemented. The army has no role in transportation of Nato supplies. NLC will perform any role in this regard as and when assigned by the Government of Pakistan, the spokesman added.