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Thursday, April 18, 2024

Railways Minister sets annual earning target of Rs30 billion

Railways Minister Azam Swati on Monday assigned an annual earning target of Rs 30 million for the Pakistan Railways (PR) from its freight service.

Addressing a press conference on Tuesday, Railways Minister Mr Azam Swati said he had assigned the Pakistan Railways (PR) an annual earning target of Rs30 billion from its freight. The target is not only attainable but the department has the potential to reach 40bn. The Minister said that he had directed the concerned officials to submit a blueprint to achieve the target.

The Pakistan Railways has incurred a loss of Rs2.9bn over the past 10 months and an attempt had been made for the collapse of the railways, said the Minister. He revealed that distribution valves from 220 new freight wagons were stolen and each equipment cost Rs300,000 resulting in a net loss of Rs800 million.

The Railways Minister said that Pakistan Railways used to earn Rs50,000 per day from each of the grounded freight wagons, and the total loss worked out to be Rs2.9bn.

Blaming the management of Pakistan State Oil (PSO) for not using the freight train service of railways for transportation of petroleum products, he said that 2,000 wagons were readily available to transport oil from Attock Oil up to Mardan.

On his orders, the PSO chairman has now issued instructions for using the railways freight service for transportation of oil, stated the minister. This move would help PR earn a profit of Rs3bn, he added.

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Talking about the reformation of the real estate of Pakistan Railways that is being introduced to protect railways land, Mr Swati said that there was no use of this land when the country could not manage to pay off loans obtained from the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.

To undertake projects of Pakistan Railway, Ministry of Railways has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Frontier Works Organization (FWO), the military engineering organization and one of the major science and technology commands of Pakistan Army, the Railway Minister disclosed.

Under the federal government’s Public Sector Development Programme, any project that can take 5 years to complete would be completed in 6 months through FWO, he commented.

The minister said that corruption, inefficiency and mismanagement had destroyed the Pakistan Railways and now according to the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan, the department would introduce automation process.

Read More: Pakistan Railways: Not being operated the way it should be – Chief Justice

“We are focusing on digitalization of Pakistan Railways and within one month, the ticketing system will be shifted to smart phones,” he said. He said all the main railway stations under the public private partnership projects and with the help of Frontier Works Organization would be transformed and made business hubs like international railway stations.

The minister said the rehabilitation work of the railway tracks was being carried out to avoid accidents and make the rail journey safe and sound.