LAHORE   -  Pakistan Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said Saturday that fares of economy classes would be increased up to Rs 100, by six to seven percent for other classes from July 1 in wake of the recent oil prices hike.

Addressing a press conference at PR Headquarters here, he said that rail fares will have to be revised as PR had to face additional burden of Rs three billion owing to an increase in oil prices in international market. He added that there would be no increase in fare for traveling less than 50 kilometers.

Sh Rashid said that PC-1 of Main Line-1 (ML-1) had been submitted, whereas Chinese were asked to build new apartments for PR employees working on ML-1 where about 70,000 PR employees would be facilitated.

All-out efforts were made for welfare of PR employees and ensuring maximum improvement in the department, he maintained.

He said that Prime Minister Imran Khan would soon inaugurate Sir Syed Express at Rawalpindi Railway Station, adding as per directions of Prime Minister Imran Khan, Sargodha Express would be extended to Mianwali via Lahore within one month. Three new freight trains would also be started to enhance the revenue, he asserted.

He said about 8,000 vacancies in PR would be filled through ballot and adding that a committee was constituted to regularise temporary labour appointments (TLA).        

Sheikh Rashid said that rate lists of food items, besides other information, would be displayed in all trains so that no one could overcharge the passengers.

To a question about recent train accident, he said that an initial report had been completed, after which PR Chairman Sikandar Sultan would form an inquiry committee which would submit its finding within 15 days.

The minister said that all young assistant drivers were directed to report Walton Academy for training. No senior PR officer would be posted at any position for more than three years, he added.

To a query, the minister said that it was right of Opposition to deliver speeches in the parliament. People should get relief in prices of basic commodities including oil, sugar, electricity and gas in the Budget 2019-20, he added.

To another question, he said that federal government was making efforts to put in place special facilities including accommodation for Sikh Yatrees in Nankana Sahib.

Responding to a query, he said that courts had already rejected the bail pleas of Asif Ali Zardari and Nawaz Sharif, whereas Maryam Nawaz and Bilawal Bhutto Zardari wanted to gain media attention through “Save Father Campaign”.