LAHORE: After opting for outsourcing 24 passenger trains, Pakistan Railways on Thursday decided to lease freight operations and sought proposals from the interested parties under public, private partnership (PPP) mode.

The interested parties, if succeeded in getting such projects after a bidding process under Public Procurement Regulatory Authority rules, would be liable to pay rent of the wagons, locomotive and track access charges to the PR, relieving it of administrative and operational cost and other financial burdens, Dawn has learnt.

“We are inviting the private sector to run our freight trains and pay us the rakes and locomotives rent and track access charges on the basis of the load of goods. In this way we will be free from bearing the cost of staff salaries, fuel, trip maintenance of the rolling stock,” PR Chairman Dr Habibur Rehman Gilani told Dawn on Thursday.

According to a document, which is being floated by a PR’s subsidiary Pakistan Railways Freight Transportation Company (PFRTC) to invite the private sector for commercial leasing out of the freight trains within the next few days, the interested parties having requisite expertise, relevant experience, capability and required financial and technical resources dealing with container and other freight handling machinery, have been asked to run two trains daily on a lease basis.

“Initially, the parties can bid for three routes - Lahore-Karachi, Karachi-Chichoo Ki Malyan and Karachi-Faisalabad - as per agreed timings and schedule of trains with PRFTC,” reads the document seeking proposals on the prescribed proforma.

A pre-proposal conference will also be held on July 14 at the PRFTC Sub Office on GT Road here, the document says.

It further seeks submission of proposals in the sealed envelops by July 30. “Technical proposals will be opened the same day at 11:30am in the presence of bidders who chose to attend whereas the financial proposals shall be opened as explained after finalisation of technical evaluation,”

REVENUE: The PR’s Lahore division on Thursday claimed to have earned Rs607 million as rent of property and land, which is more than Rs207m of the total target of Rs400m set for fiscal year 2019-20.

“Though the total earning of PR in property and land is about Rs1,525m against the target of Rs2,000m for all divisions, Lahore is the only division that has earned much more than the target,” claims a press release.

Published in Dawn, July 3rd, 2020