Pakistan Railways earned over Rs28bn despite floods, Senate told

Wednesday, Feb 08, 2023

ISLAMABAD: Minister of State for Law and Justice Shahadat Awan on Tuesday said Pakistan Railways had earned revenue of Rs 28.263 billion from July 1 to December 31, 2022, from its operation despite the flood situation in the country.

Responding to a question pertaining to Pakistan Railways, raised by Jamaat-e-Islami’s Senator Mushtaq Ahmed, he told the Senate that the expenditure in the same period was Rs 52.990 billion as out of the total expenditure, 35 percent was related to the pension and 33 percent to salaries. The minister said the Pakistan Railways received a subsidy of Rs 21.750 billion as a grant-in-aid from the federal government therefore; the net deficit for the period in question was Rs.2.977 billion.

On a supplementary question, Balochistan Awami Party’s Senator Danesh Kumar pointed out that the Pakistan Railways had distorted the facts and figures in the following reply adding that the total loss, incurred to the department was 24.727 billion. He was of the view that the grant-in-aid provided to the Pakistan Railways during the same period under discussion should be counted as a loss and it was provided by the government from the national exchequer to meet the expenses of the department concerned.

He also proposed to mend the railway tracks across the country otherwise it would be quite difficult to run the train at the speed of 160 kilometers per hour.

Shahadat Awan said the first half of the current financial year 2022-23 brought more bad news for Pakistan Railways as the unprecedented floods due to climate change played havoc with the already dilapidated infrastructure. He said it not only resulted in revenue loss as train operations remained suspended for more than 35 days, but it also put a further burden on the Pakistan Railways in terms of restoration of railway traffic from its own meager resources. This had adversely affected the entire financial system of the Pakistan Railways and in turn affected its employees and pensioners due to delayed salaries and pensions, he maintained.

Shahdat Awan said the Pakistan Railways had restarted its premium train service Green Line on January 27 of this year and it consisted of new Chinese coaches imported recently.