ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Railways suffered a loss of Rs28.62 billion in the first eight months of the current government’s tenure in contradiction to federal minister Sheikh Rashid’s claim that it had generated a profit of Rs43 billion, revealed a report submitted to the National Assembly Standing Committee on Railways on Friday.
The committee met under the chairmanship of MNA Moeen Wattoo. According to the report submitted to the committee by Railways officials, the total expenditures of the Pakistan Railways stood at Rs72 billion.
The officials informed the parliamentary panel that six of the 10 new trains inaugurated by Railways Minister Rashid were suffering losses including Dhabeji Express, Shah Latif Express, Mohenjodaro Express, Rohi Passenger Train, Thal-Mianwali Express, Faisalabad Non-Stop Train and Rawalpindi Express.
Former railways minister Khawaja Saad Rafiq maintained that all new trains launched this year would report losses if their individual performances were analysed.
In response, Sheikh Rashid told the committee that only two of the new trains, the Dhabeji Express and Rohi Passenger Train, were reporting losses.
“Only 22 passengers [on an average] are using the Dhabeji train,” he said.
Rashid further told the committee that some private individuals had expressed their interest in launching trains. “We have saved 1.7 million litres of fuel even after running 26 trains,” the minister said. “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.
MNA Rafiq inquired about the feasibility reports of 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 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.
“What magic wand are you using that fuel is being saved even when trains are running at their optimum capacity?” he asked the railways secretary.
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