Pakistan Railways Chief Executive Officer Farrukh Taimur Ghilzai has said that the Railways Minister has expressed his keen interest to switch over to locally manufactured parts of locomotives and wagons instead of importing these components from other countries by spending precious foreign exchange. The CEO, who represented Federal Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique, was talking to a delegation of Pakistan Association of Auto Parts and Accessories Manufacturers (PAAPAM), which met him here in the lead of PAAPAM Business Development Committee convener Mirza Sikander Baig. On the directions of the Railways Minister, the senior most Railways technical staff, who runs the whole PR department, including, Chief controller Purchase, Chief Mechanical Engineer (CME) Carriage, CME Locomotives, Divisional Engineers and Divisional Superintendent Workshops, were accompanying the Railways Chief Executive Officer in the meeting. Later in the second round, the PAAPAM team, on the invitation of the Federal PR Minister, also visited the railway workshops to collect the fruits of earlier important meeting. Farrukh Taimur Ghilzai, while addressing the meeting, said that on the explicit instructions of Khawaja Saad Rafique the high level meeting of Railways and the PAAPAM was held, as the federal minister is very serious in this regard, emphasizing that both PAAPAM and PR must develop close interaction to understand each other’s needs. He observed that the parts being produced in Pakistan are not inferior to that of any other country. This is the only way to ease out foreign exchange pressure on the land, as the trade deficit of the country continued to rise, he added. The delegation included Member MC Irfan Ahmed Qureshi, Haji Muhammad Nazir of Meralastik Rubber and Engineering, PAAPAM General Secretary Ghulam Murtaza and Anas Haroon. The delegation’s aim to visit Railways headquarters was to bridge the gap between the PAAPAM members and the Pakistan Railways and promote localization to contain the dwindling foreign exchange. On this occasion, the delegation gave a comprehensive presentation to the CEO of PR, flanked by his technical experts. While responding to questions of the delegation, the CEO agreed with the PAAPAM’s proposal that a pre-qualification of vendors system of potential manufacturers was necessary to ensure the quality and transparent mechanism. The Railways CEO, on behalf of the federal minister, thanked the delegation and invited the PAAPAM to carry on such meetings in future to seek ways to develop a public-private partnership. PAAPAM Business Development Committee convener Mirza Sikander Baig, on this occasion, appreciated the Railways Minister for inviting the PAAPAM and taking initiative of arranging such a high level meeting which was never held in the history between an industrial body and the senior most technical staff of the PR. He said that PAAPAM welcomes the Railways Minister’s intention to join hands with the auto parts manufacturers to strengthen the local industry to grow, create more job opportunities, and curb the foreign exchange drain. He briefed the CEO on those engineering areas where PAAPAM could cooperate with the railways and other state-owned engineering entities, including WAPDA, SNGPL and defence sector. Mirza Sikander Baig said that the local industry is fully capable of bridging the huge gap of ever-rising trade deficit not only through enhancing exports but also by controlling unbridled imports through ‘import deletion’ of industrial replacement parts. He informed the CEO that there is a huge possibility of import deletion of industrial replacement parts, in addition to automotive parts, through public-private partnership. He stressed the need for a Public Private Partnership under the Win-Win spirit for any long-term relationship between the stakeholders. It was also suggested that instead of a ‘no cost, no obligation’ development program, a trial-based order doctrine must be introduced at the execution level in PR, empowering the relevant CME office. This will create a congenial and conducive environment for import deletion.