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Pakistan Railways reduces losses to Rs5b

Pakistan Railways reduces losses to Rs5b

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Railways has reduced Rs 5 billion losses in last over four and half years, narrowing the total losses from Rs 32 billion to Rs 27 billion by ensuring financial discipline and taking concrete steps.

Pakistan Railways also having improvement in its revenue to Rs 40 billion, including Rs.1.3 billion expenditure spent on up-gradation of more than 585 passenger coaches.

Its revenue was Rs 18 billion in 2012-13, which was increased to Rs 23 billion in the first year of present government in 2013-14, improving to Rs 32 billion in 2014-15, then Rs 36 billion in 2015-16 and now Rs 40 billion in 2016-17, sources in the Ministry of Railways told APP.

The sources said that Rs. 50 billion revenue target has been set for fiscal year 2017-18 which would be 30 per cent higher as compared to the  preceding fiscal year. The revenue target of Rs 50 billion is 94 per cent higher as compared to the target set in 2013.

They said that the availability of operational coaches has also increased to almost 1,250 to date from around 970 in 2013 due to increased spending on up-gradation of coaches, which has reached Rs 81 billion in 2016-17 from expenditure of Rs 48 billion in 2012-13.

The increase in Railways revenue is due to improvement in the number of locomotives, introduction of new freight and passenger trains and trains regularity and punctuality.

The sources said that before 2013 even passenger wagons were not being repaired as per requirement due to less allocation of funds but the position substantially improved through allocation of additional funds for refurbishment of coaches.

In 2013, Pakistan Railways was running only 55 locomotives but today after almost five years the Railways has over 200 locomotives, they added.

In the past four and a half years, the locomotive strength for freight operation has reached 85 compared to eight in 2013.

Pakistan Railways has increased 1250 passenger coaches in four and a half years from 970 in 2013. Up till now, 790 coaches and 1900 wagons have been rolled out after special repair. In addition, the quality of repairs and periodical overhauling of coaches have also been substantially upgraded.

For the first time 55 new freight specific locomotives of 4500 HP have been added to the existing fleet. The newly inducted locomotives improved the share of freight earnings.

The number of passengers has improved significantly as over 10 million people travelled through the Railways network in the past couple of years, the sources said.

They said that another positive sign is that about 10 million passengers who had left travelling through Railways have again regaining confidence in this transport system.

The Pakistan Railways has become the country’s largest revenue earning institution through E-commerce by achieving the target of selling Rs 10 million tickets through internet in a day.

The Railways is now providing facility of online booking at its website which was not available before 2013, as 1.35 million passengers purchased Rs 1.80 billion worth tickets through online service.

They said that service of trains and staff is also improving after long time.

Trains now almost reach their destinations on time as compared to 12 hours late of five years ago. Five years ago, it was routine that trains were reported to be without locomotives, coaches without electricity and without fuel to run.

The transportation capacity of Railways has been increased by employing higher speed and higher payload trains. Focus has shifted towards freight sector which is a profitable venture, as 55 per cent revenue has been generated from passenger and 31 percent from freight against 80 per cent from passenger and only 11 percent from freight in 2013.

They said that terminal facilities have also been improved by introducing modern loading and unloading facilities.