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Railways short of plain paper


LAHORE, July 9: The cash-starved Pakistan Railways did not have plain papers on Monday when representatives of a private party approached its marketing wing in its headquarters in Lahore to obtain documents to bid for passenger facilitation of two railcars.

The company had first approached the PR marketing wing on July 4 in response to an advertisement published on June 16, re-inviting bids for outsourcing commercial management of Subak Raftar (101-Up/102-Down) and Subak Kharam (103-Up/104-Down), a source told Dawn on Monday.

The company representatives were asked to come another day as the bid documents were being finalised. The company representatives again visited the PR wing office on Monday and were informed that the documents could not be given to them even on payment of Rs30,000 – the wing had no plain papers for the printouts.

However, the PR chief commercial manager promised to deliver all the bid documents by 11am on Tuesday. The bids would be accepted by 2pm on July 12.

The PR marketing wing had in April this year invited bids for outsourcing commercial management of Subak Raftar and Subak Kharam, both railcars running between Rawalpindi and Lahore. The PR Advisory and Consultancy Services Ltd (PRACS) and M/s Four Brothers International (Pvt) Ltd submitted their financial and technical bids.

However, an anomaly surfaced in the technical bid of the M/s Four Brothers “after scrutiny of documents submitted by PRACS” and the tenders had to be re-invited.