Pakistan Railways: Fares set to increase up to 30%

Published: January 14, 2011

Railways decide to increase fares due to growing deficit.. PHOTO: EPA

ISLAMABAD: 

Pakistan Railways is set to raise its fares by 10 to 30 per cent in a bid to avert bankruptcy.

“The rail fares will be raised by 10 to 30 per cent shortly to generate funds to meet its operational expenses,” said General Manager Pakistan Railways (PR) Ishaq Khattak, at a meeting of the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Railways.

The committee, which met in Islamabad with MNA Ayaz Sadiq in the chair, also unanimously passed a resolution, requesting Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani to release a bailout package of Rs11.5 billion for the railways.

While briefing the meeting, Khattak said that the federal cabinet had approved an increase in rail fares in July last year, adding that the decision was later reversed. He said that the government again approved an increase in fares and the ministry is waiting for a notification in this regard.

Despite the announcement of the bailout package, the total sum that has so far been released is just Rs1.2 billion, adding that the amount was “peanuts”.

Khattak said that the proposed hike in rail fares is being finalised, under which fares of passenger trains would be increased by 10 per cent, express trains by 20 per cent, non-stop rails by 25 per cent, freight trains by 30 per cent, and inter-city rail fares would be increased by 15 per cent.

He said that the proposed raise would generate an additional revenue of Rs2.30 billion annually.

Highlighting the railways’ precarious financial situation, the general manager said that even the State Bank had declined to extend an overdraft facility, contending that the railways had already borrowed Rs40 billion from government banks to meet its operational expenses.

Khattak said that because of lack of funds, PR has been unable buy or repair its locomotives, adding that despite having a fleet of 500 out, only 156 are currently in working condition.

He said that PR has had to suspend train services in some parts of the country to curtail losses.

In addition, the announcement of a 50 per cent increase in salaries and pension allowances has also contributed to the losses. Khattak said that there were 800,000 employees working in the railways and 20,000 of them were surplus.

The committee also took serious notice of the absence of the railways’ legal director.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 14th,  2011.

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Reader Comments (8)

  • Jan 13, 2011 - 6:10PM

    I suggest to the government to put all the blue collar & working class people in a Truck and drop them into River Indus. Next day proudly claim your acheivement Poverty Alleviated in Pakistan.Recommend

  • Ahsan
    Jan 13, 2011 - 6:29PM

    Will anybody leave the coalition now? …Recommend

  • ravi
    Jan 13, 2011 - 7:50PM

    well to be frank railways is a lifeline of any country. It transports more people than any other modes of transport in most of the countries. india brought a change in indian railways by sea change in its policy and thats why hopefully pakistan can also do that.
    India has expertise in almost all sectors in railways i just pity pakistani government that just bcoz of some petty political issues it fails to take the agvantage from its neighbour.
    On the other hand chinese companies taking advantage from the enimity of indo-pak provides cheap locos to pakistan (which eventually broke down due some sort of cracks) .
    I am an indian i would certainly say that indian locos are extremely robust for south asian conditions . Why dont you guys take help from indian railways?????Recommend

  • Saeed
    Jan 13, 2011 - 8:27PM

    Why should we pay the pice for their ineffeciency? Peopl its enough.. look at the way India is progressing nowadays.. every policy is turning out to be gold for them. We all know how ineffeciently railway and other state departments are run. Lets make the govt realize that it better rectify its policies or they can be forced to step down and hand back power to the people.Recommend

  • Jan 14, 2011 - 8:46AM

    Like all departments railways was a a efficient department, it ran electric trains and the well known Khyber mail. Then corruption took over and rapes were a daily routine in railway offices.
    Sex ruled and many young women who were desirous of joining railways and came for interviews were raped in railway offices. Those officers forgot God and I remember one of their deaths , he died in severe cancer.
    One can see complete mismanagement as excessive recruitment took place and people were getting paid but no one was working.
    800,000 employees and only 80 trains to run.
    I remember as a child to visit the railway yards and see clean railway lines. Today you see weeds growing all over the tracks.
    As Iqbal states that a crop which cannot provide sustenance to the farmer should be burned, so its time that railways is shut down in Pakistan.
    I remember the plight of a rice business who sent several carriages of rice to Karachi, after a month none could be located.
    Its time to punish the officials of railways in Pakistan.
    Allah knows all the truth.Recommend

  • sunil vohra
    Jan 14, 2011 - 9:25AM

    What good will increase in passenger fares do when PR does’nt have the locomotives to run the trains!!Recommend

  • samir roy
    Jan 25, 2011 - 11:48AM

    I request you to kind inform me the freight rate tables for goods trains for settlement of ttaRecommend

  • Singh
    Feb 19, 2011 - 11:33PM

    China is the biggest threat to pakistan railway.
    They sell 3rd class cheap locomotives at premier prices.Recommend

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