ISLAMABAD: In a move to resolve the disagreement over the establishment of an import and export yard at Chaman Dry Port between the Ministry of Railways and the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), the National Assembly Standing Committee on Railways on Tuesday asked all the stakeholders to mutually agree on the implementation of the project within two weeks and report to it.
The chief executive of Pakistan Railways informed the committee that the project is using railways land while it is being executed by the National Logistics Cell on behalf of the FBR. While convening the project, FBR failed to take the ministry on board, and for that reason the project is facing shortfalls, the official said.
On the other hand, FBR and NLC presented the view to the committee that the amount of loan provided by the Asian Development Bank would lapse if not utilised in due course of time, and FBR have to pay penalty, and therefore seeking no objection certificate from the railways ministry.
The tax body proposed that the FBR, NLC and the Railways should work together after deciding the mode of implementation of the project and explore funding options from the donors.
The committee meeting, chaired by MNA Muhammad Moeen Wattoo, unanimously decided that FBR may convene the meetings within seven days with the input from the ministries of railways, commerce and interior besides NLC and draft mutually accepted decisions and report to the committee for implementing the project within two weeks. The committee directed to issue a letter on the matter at the earliest to the FBR by endorsing the other concerned ministries.
Administrator Municipal Corporation Chaman was directed to coordinate with the Railways under the decision of the court and resolve the dispute mutually at the earliest.
The committee also took up the matter of outstanding bills or receivable amount by the Railways Division Quetta from the different department of provincial government and advised them either to vacate the railway land or sign agreement for paying the rent to railways.
Similarly, the private oil companies were also directed to pay the rent to railways for using their land or vacate the land at the earliest.
The committee also directed the Railways Division Quetta to bring all shopkeepers at Harnai station under the tax net within one month. All the goods and freight trains operation must be started and also the passenger trains for the facilitation of the local people, the committee added.
The committee also directed that renovation and reconstruction of the railway station on the main line may be carried out as per availability of funds. Railways has already launched the privatisation of passenger trains. The committee was the view that railways should watch carefully for the receivables well in time from the contractors.
Published in Dawn, November 25th, 2020