PR revenue soars after reforms, Senate told

State-owned entity has earned Rs40.1 billion in the first half of fiscal year 2023-24

Our Correspondent May 23, 2024
The Ministry of Railways defended the ML-I project, saying that without its completion, Pakistan Railways would shut down soon. Photo: file



The Senate was told on Wednesday that the Pakistan Railways has been on the fast track to financial success, with revenues skyrocketing over the past decade, clocking an impressive 251% growth thanks to reforms and improved management.

The upper house was informed that the state-owned entity earned Rs40.1 billion in the first half of fiscal year 2023-24.Minister for Parliamentary Affairs and Law and Justice Azam Nazeer revealed this during a session of the upper house, shedding light on the railway's financial performance and ongoing reforms aimed at curbing losses.

In fiscal year 2023-24, Pakistan Railways recorded an impressive revenue of Rs40.1 billion in the first half, indicating a promising upward trajectory.

Read Railways’ revenue hits historic high

The minister highlighted these figures while addressing inquiries regarding the government's strategic measures to address Pakistan Railways' financial challenges.

Detailing the financial landscape, Minister Nazeer disclosed that in the preceding fiscal year 2022-23, Pakistan Railways raked in revenue amounting to Rs63.250 billion. However, to bolster its operations, the railway received a grant-in-aid/subsidy of Rs47.5 billion from the Finance Division, totalling Rs. 110.8 billion in financial support.

Emphasizing the persistent challenge of escalating pension obligations, the minister underscored that a substantial portion, approximately 67%, of the railway's total expenditure is allocated towards pay and pension benefits.

He explained that the exponential growth in pension liabilities since 2016, attributing it to the implementation of the new Pension Policy/PM Package for in-service death.

Addressing the fiscal strain resulting from burgeoning pension liabilities, Minister Nazeer outlined Pakistan Railways' proposal to transfer pension responsibilities and funding to the Finance Division.

This strategic shift, he asserted, would alleviate the burden on the railway's financial resources, enabling a focus on operational activities.Highlighting the adverse impact of external factors such as the massive floods in July and August 2022, which disrupted railway operations for two months, the minister underscored the resilience of Pakistan Railways amidst challenges.

Despite setbacks, the railway has exhibited resilience, evident in its revenue growth trajectory during the ongoing fiscal year.

Dismissive of reports citing Rs55 billion loss incurred by Pakistan Railways in the fiscal year 2022-23, he attributed the railway's improved management system to driving revenue enhancement initiatives, signalling a positive outlook for the future of Pakistan's railway infrastructure.


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