The government of Punjab has on the whole announced to end subsidy on Metro Bus fares that all the way cost billions of rupees annually. This normally means that around the scale of the 331,000 passengers as who travel by metro buses in Lahore, Rawalpindi and Multan every day. They will now have to pay that is to be more than the current fares so that the government can cut its fiscal deficit. This decision was announced by the Punjab Finance Minister Makhdoom Hashim Bakht in the timeline of the brief press talk on Thursday.
It was address in the media that the provincial government bears a burden of Rs 12 billion every year as in terms of fare subsidy on Lahore, as well as Multan and Rawalpindi Metro projects. It is to be mentioned that the Lahore Metro Bus Service from now onwards as being run from Shahdara to Gajjumata as would be charged on a stop-to-stop basis. He hence maintained on that these rationalization cuts in fares that would not burden the masses, and so as the government subsidy that will also decrease.
PML-N has on the whole reacted strongly that is to be expected that the Metro projects were its brainchild. It argues on with the access that the cut in fare subsidy on top of these projects will put hence more burden on the masses and will be adding away with the financial woes. PML-N leaders criticized the PTI government’s decision as being the side of one against the universal norms. Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) is on the scale yet to break its silence on this issue.
The PML-N-led government in the place of Punjab as months before the general elections 2013! It all started a mass transit project in its political fort, Lahore. The idea was to purposely give its supporters something that will make them forget the government’s failure in the view of Sasti Roti, Peeli Taxi, Ashiyana Housing schemes and so many more.
Lahore Metro Bus Service was launched in February 2013 as the medium project that covers the 27km-long route from Gajjumata to Shahdara. It was built with the worth of around Rs 30 billion and causes approximately the charges of Rs 4.2 billion in an annual loss to the Punjab government. Rawalpindi-Islamabad mass transit project was on the wjole built at a cost of approximately Rs 39 billion and the government was on the scale paying a subsidy of Rs 2 billion on top of the project. Multan metro project cost around with maximum Rs 29 billion while the subsidy required to keep it going is counted to be Rs 2.1 billion annually. At the same time the cost of the Orange Line project has reached Rs 250 billion, and it is yet to be finalized. When it comes to run this project of the 27 Kilometre-long automated rapid transit project, it will put a burden of cost around Rs 3.5 billion on the national exchequer.
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18 February, 2019