LAHORE: Financial burden on state-owned entities never ceases to stop.
In the latest development, Pakistan Railways’ (PR) losses surpassed a staggering Rs28 billion, increasing around 12.64% in fiscal year 2015-16, amid repeated statements of a turnaround being targeted for the ailing entity.
The corporation managed total earnings of Rs35.97 billion during 2015-16, an increase from the Rs31.92 billion recorded in the corresponding period of the previous year. However, its expenses increased to Rs64.23 billion in 2015-16 against Rs57.03 billion in 2014-15, according to documents sent to the Ministry of Railways from the office of the financial advisor and Chief Executive Officer, Pakistan Railways.
The total deficit for PR for 2015-16 amounted to around Rs28.3 billion, but the administration has not included interest and repayments of foreign loans on capital and replacement accounts figures, which means the deficit could increase further.
This year, Railways did not call a formal press conference to announce its results. However, the management shared only its revenue generating details, and avoided sharing the working expenses section details, which shows the true picture of financials, against the tall claims of the management.
Interestingly, operating expenses showed a dip of 3%. They reduced to Rs18.28 billion in 2015-16 from Rs18.77 billion in 2014-15.
The letter said that railways expenses under ‘Other Revenue Expenditures’ head, has increased to Rs21.54 billion in 2015-16 from Rs16.83 billion in 2014-15, a rise of 28%.
Similarly its general administration expenses have also increased 18% to Rs8.63 billion in 2015-16 from Rs7.28 billion in the corresponding period of the previous year.
On the revenue side, total passenger earnings for 2015-16 stood at Rs20.39 billion, up 17% than corresponding years earnings of Rs17.45 billion.
Railways earned Rs10.59 billion through transportation of goods via its freight operations in fiscal year 2015-16. These earnings are almost 28% higher than the corresponding year earnings of Rs8.25 billion.
However its sundry section, which includes railways commercial, marketing, land and property department, has seen a negative growth of almost 40%. The earnings have reduced to Rs2.59 billion in 2015-16 from Rs4.3 billion in 2014-15.
Increasing losses of state-owned entities has put a massive burden on the national exchequer where bailouts are becoming more and more frequent, much to the dismay of taxpayers.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 12th, 2016.