Railways inflicted with Rs29b loss in govt’s first 8 months: report

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ISLAMABAD: A report submitted to the National Assembly Standing Committee has revealed that Pakistan Railways has met with Rs28.62 billion loss during the first eight months.

The report contradicts federal minister Sheikh Rasheed’s claim that the ministry had generated a profit of Rs.43 billion.

The committee, under the chairmanship of MNA Moeen Wattoo, noted that the total expenditures of the Pakistan Railways stood at Rs72 billion, according to the report submitted by Railways officials on Friday.

The officials apprised the parliamentary panel that six of the 10 new trains inaugurated by the federal minister Rashid were suffering losses including , Rohi Passenger Train, Thal-Mianwali Express, Dhabeji Express, Mohenjodaro Express, Faisalabad Non-Stop Train, Shah Latif Express, and Rawalpindi Express.

Former railways minister Khwaja Saad Rafiq warned that all new trains launched this year would report losses if their individual performances were analysed.

At this, Sheikh Rashid contended that only two of the new trains, the Dhabeji Express and Rohi Passenger Train, had met with losses.

The minister said Railways saved 1.7 million litres of fuel even after running 26 trains.
“There will be no increase in the fares of the economy class. Only tickets for the AC seats and elite trains will be increased,” he added.

Rashid further told the committee that some private individuals had expressed their interest in launching trains.

MNA Rafiq interrogated about the coaches for the trains and sought details about the new trains that had been launched one after the other during the current government’s tenure.

“Where are the coaches for these trains coming from? We need all the details. You must keep 15% of coaches in spare, but currently we have none,” he remarked.

“Trains don’t reach their destinations on time because the spare coaches have been used in new trains. The proportion of passenger trains is on the rise while cargo trains are declining,” he pointed out.

The former minister also inquired how Railways was saving any fuel when trains are running at their optimum capacity.