Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique said on Monday that initially selected railway stations and some trains would be used to implement branding initiative. Addressing a branding conference at a local hotel, he said that spaces would be offered for branding on few trains and at selected railway stations and gradually this initiative would be implemented in the whole system.
He said, “Branding initiative should be implemented in such a way that it may not affect the esthetic sense.” In past, he said a lot of efforts had been made to start branding initiative in railways and to use its locations and trains for commercial and publicity purposes. Khawaja Saad Rafique said that being a Pakistani all of us should make sincere efforts to steer the country out of existing challenges. He said that honest officers had been appointed on main posts in railways and there was no political interference within the department, adding that even railways minister could not interfere in the policies of railways.
Branding initiative would help private companies to enhance their business and he requested the private companies to take it as a national cause and play their role in strengthening the railway. He said: “If we look at other countries, railway play a significant role in strengthening economy of any country.” The Minister said that two decades were required to turnaround railways, adding that results could not be achieved through hollow slogans. He said: “Despite financial challenges in the railways we will keep our spirit high to uplift the department.”
Saad Rafique said that efforts were being made to start Main Line-1 project in a viable situation after cost cutting. He said that railways wanted to move forward with the support of private sector and in light of professional opinion. The Railways Minister said that there was a lot of potential in the country and efforts had to be made in right direction to achieve desired results. Responding to a question, he said that all parameters regarding safety of installations would be decided, adding that company involved in branding and department both had to play their role in this regard.
He said: “We have to educate travellers as well to protect installations in a better way.” To another query, he said that railways wanted to implement branding initiative within sixty days. He further said that railways had got permission regarding commercial exploitation of its property for certain time period and it was related to real estate exploitation. He said, as far as branding was concerned there was no ban on it. Responding to a question, he said that continuity of policies was highly important to streamline the working of public departments.