ISLAMABAD: The revenues of Pakistan Railways have increased to Rs36,581.864 million in year 2015-16 as against Rs18,069.546 million in year 2012-13, registering a net gain of Rs18,512.318 million in three years.
The present government has brought down the deficit of Pakistan Railways to Rs26.993 billion by June 2016 from Rs30.504 billion in 2013, sources said. Despite the fact that the expenditures have risen from Rs48.535 billion in 2012-13 to Rs63.154 billion during 2015-16, he added. He said the increase in expenditure is mainly due to increase in pay, pension and allowances as a result of budget announcements and cannot be curtailed.
Highlighting steps taken by the government to reduce deficit of Pakistan Railways, he said passenger sector earned Rs20,871.630 million during year 2015-16 as compared to Rs12,982.218 million in 2012-13, thus registering a growth Rs.7,889.412 million in three years.
The freight sector earned Rs10,585.903 million during year 2015-16 as compared to Rs. 1,673.661 million in year 2012-13, registering a growth of Rs8,912.242 (532.5 per cent) in three years, he added.
He said Pakistan Railways managed to load 243,794 wagons of different commodities during year 2015-2016, registering an increase of 26.24 percent as compared to wagons in year 2012-13. The other measures included introduction of competitive freight rates to diversify traffic from road to rail, preference to block train loads, FDA based agreement with Maple Leaf Cement Factory and MOUs with Awan Trading Company and Chishtian Logistics for transportation of Coal and allocation of dedicated locomotives in freight pool, improved from 10 locomotives in 2012-13 to 65.
He said preference to high rated commodities like POL, in land coal transportation agreement with M/S Ruy; Shendong from transportation of 4.2 million tons imported coal from port to coal Fired Power Plants at Sahiwal and improvement of terminal facilities to curtail loading and un-loading time were some other steps taken.
Pakistan Railways introduced high capacity/high speed Hopper Trucks for swift movement of coal, introduction of dedicated new high horse power (4000 to 4500 HP) locomotives for freight transportation, up-gradation of existing track on main corridor (ML-1) is being conducted under China Pakistan Economic Corridor and established Freight Transport Company to explore new avenues for future freight traffic.
In passenger sector, he said the department adopted measures which included out-sourcing of commercial management of four trains to generate a revenue of Rs. 3.35 billion per annum, reduction of fares of different trains attracting more than 5.1 million passengers to travel by train and introduction of Green line train between Rawalpindi-Karachi via Lahore with extra facilities and amenities.
He said that Pakistan Railways also took some other steps to improve financial health of the department which included introduction of different packages, concessions in different classes, rationalization of fare structure to make it more competitive with road sector and running of special trains on eve of Eid-ul-Fitr, Eid-ul-Azha, Urs of Lal Qalander Shahbaz, Urs of Bahauddin Zakaria, Besakhi and Tableeghi Ijtimah etc.