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Punjab govt paying Rs8 billion in subsidies for metro bus projects

Punjab govt paying Rs8 billion in subsidies for metro bus projects

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) led federal government has decided to conduct an audit of metro bus projects in Punjab which were initiated by the previous Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz government.

During a news briefing following the federal cabinet meeting on Thursday, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry outlined the costs associated with metro bus projects in Islamabad, Lahore and Multan. “The government of Punjab is giving a subsidy of approximately Rs8 billion on these projects, If this subsidy is not given, all of these projects would close,” Chaudhry said.

The federal minister informed reporters that yearly the Punjab government gives a subsidy of Rs4.2 billion on the Lahore metro bus. He added that the Rawalpindi-Islamabad metro bus was built at a cost of approximately Rs39 billion and the government was paying a subsidy of Rs2 billion on this project. The cost of the metro bus in Multan was Rs29 billion while the subsidy being given on it was Rs2.1 billion.

Chaudhry further said that the cost of constructing the metro project in Peshawar would be Rs67 billion, however, unlike the projects in Punjab there would be no requirement for a subsidy and the buses were owned not rented.

Commenting on the Orange Line project, the minister said the cost of this had reached Rs250 billion. “In this cost or a little more we could have doubled the track going from Khyber to Karachi. We do not know about the subsidy on this project. It seems when it is completed we will need to pay a subsidy of over Rs3.5 billion to run the train.”

The expenditure of the Prime Minister House in the last five years was Rs2.30 billion, meanwhile, CM Punjab house spent Rs2.90 in the same time, said the information minister.

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