LAHORE - Railways minister Khawaja Saad Rafique Friday expressed the hope that the department would recover embezzled amount in Royal Palm and Business Train cases.

Talking to media along with National Assembly Standing Committee on Railways chairman Syed Naveed Qamar, he said the Royal Palm Golf Club case had been pending with the Supreme Court and NAB took up matter of Business Train. “I’m hopeful the Railways will win both cases,” he said while responding to a question.

The minister said the railways will bring down its deficit from Rs 27 billion to Rs 25 billion this year. He said an agreement on e-ticketing would be signed till June this year and will be implemented in next few months. About ongoing train upgradation projects, he said the process was in progress and upgraded Pakistan Express train would be inaugurated after a month. The minister said that in three to four years, upgradation of all trains would be completed.  Earlier, in a meeting, the National Assembly Standing Committee on Railways gave approval to budgetary proposals relating to the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) 2016-17.

Committee Chairman Syed Naveed Qamar said that Rs 46.422 billion had been allocated under the PSDP for the year 20116-17. He said that 98 per cent of the allocation would be spent on the ongoing projects, and remaining on the new projects. He said that the proposals, approved by the standing committee at its 15th meeting, would be sent to the Ministry of Finance for approval now, and later on it would be made part of the finance bill for the year 2016-17. He said that the meeting also discussed the status of Railways cases, being probed by NAB. He said that four cases had been disposed of after thorough investigation and probe was under way into some other cases. He hoped that all investigations would be concluded transparently.