Cabinet refuses to condone Chinese locomotives deal

Cabinet refuses to condone Chinese locomotives deal

ISLAMABAD: Despite the strong recommendation of majority of the cabinet members, the federal cabinet on Wednesday refused to condone the deal regarding purchase of 75 locomotives from China, which was allegedly in violation of the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) rules.

“Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf has refused to condone the deal to procure 75 locomotives from China to allow the Railways Ministry to implement the deal to reduce the Pakistan Railways (PR) locomotives shortage,” sources privy to the cabinet meeting revealed TheNation.

The matter regarding purchase of the 75 locomotives was discussed in detail when former Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani also treated it in a same manner and formed a three-member ministerial committee comprising Rehman Malik, Sheikh Waqas Akram and Mir Hazar Khan Bijrani to probe the violation despite Bilour’s protest against the move.The sources said that the moment the issue was raised at the meeting all members of the committee except one PML-Q member strongly opposed to give approval to condone it.

They argumed that refusal to condone it would be tantamount to spoiling the relations with China, the sources said, but strong objection from one of the members forced the Prime Minister not to give approval to condone it. The minister who spoke against it, the sources said, argued that how can this could be approved which is against the PPRA rules.

It would not be out of place to mention here that this matter had remained on agenda of the cabinet meeting but after around one year it was taken up and could not get approval. It is pertinent to mention here that in the previous meeting (Jan 05, 2012) Railways Minister Bilour in the cabinet meeting had got angry against the minister who opposed railway ministry’s proposal. – Nation