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Railways to earn Rs50bn by end of current fiscal year: minister

Railways to earn Rs50bn by end of current fiscal year: minister

RAWALPINDI: Federal Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Raffique on Saturday painted a rosy picture of Pakistan Railways and said it would earn over Rs50 billion by end of the current fiscal year.

The railways had set a target of Rs32bn revenue generation for the current fiscal year but it would earn over Rs50bn by June 2018.

“The losses will remain around Rs3bn but the revenue target will surpass by Rs18bn which will help the railways to further improve its services in coming years,” he told newsmen at the railway station after inaugurating new coaches added to the Khyber Mail.

Published in Dawn, April 22nd, 2018

He said the freight service of the railways, which had been abandoned in the past, improved during the last five years.

“Pakistan Railways became a profitable organisation in the current fiscal year due to the efforts made by the PML-N government,” he claimed.

However, he said there was a dire need for foreign investment in the railways to further improve its financial condition. “The government turned the organisation into a profitable entity but it needs further improvement with the help of foreign investment,” he said.

“Due to the improvement in the timetable of trains and better condition of the railway coaches and engines, people have started preferring to travel in trains. Bringing back the passengers to the railways is an achievement of the government.”

He added that Pakistan Railways had almost 73,000 employees and 18,000 pensioners while 65pc to 68pc revenue was being spent on the welfare of employees.

About the issue of pensions, he said the railways had no control over pensions and salaries which were being controlled by the federal government.

However, he said every year pensions and salaries of the employees were increased.

He said the PML-N government had been working to bring improvement to the railways.

The government is also making all-out efforts to provide civic facilities to the people.

In response to a question, the minister said he did not want to comment on every verdict given by the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

He said the addition of new coaches to Khyber Mail was a part of the railway’s gradation programme.

He said more coaches would be added to other trains next month.

Earlier, the minister was informed that Khyber Mail operating between Peshawar and Karachi consisted of four rakes, each having 16 coaches.

The first rake has been upgraded and an improvement made in the passenger amenities, including seats replacement, electric system and overall refurbishment.

Published in Dawn, April 22nd, 2018

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