By Ali Imran
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Railways has generated around Rs 10 billion revenue through special initiatives and projects initiated by the incumbent government reducing its annual deficit by Rs four billion. The additional revenue had also helped in absorption of Rs 6 billion additional bill in respect of increasing cost of the fuel as well as pay and pension bill, an official in the Ministry of Railways stated.
During the financial year 2018-2019, earning of the department stood at Rs 54.59 billion compared to Rs 49.50 billion for financial year 2017-18, which was the highest revenue ever achieved by the department.
He said the annual deficit was lowered from Rs 36.00 billion to Rs 32 billion. He said the revenue target has been increased from Rs 53 billion to Rs 58 billion in last fiscal year.
Up-till December 31, Rs 27,967.195 million have been earned against the budgetary target of Rs 27,499.967 million. In the freight business, the earning surged to Rs 10,285.466 million against target of Rs 10,039.970 million upto December-2019, he said.
The official said Pakistan Railways had completed ten rehabilitation and development projects worth Rs 27,435.6 million during last two years from August 2018 to 2020. He said, a project of doubling of track from Khanewal to Raiwind-246 kilometers was carried out at a cost of Rs 14,261 million.
The other projects included mechanization of track maintenance (pilot project), rehabilitation of rolling stock and track, reopening of rail car from Kohat-Rawalpindi-Kohat section, up gradation of VHF communication system for operational staff, rehabilitation/procurement of re-manufactured 300 traction motors and others, he added.
Pakistan Railways had added 24 new passenger trains in its train operations and all were refurbished locally at Lahore and Islamabad workshops. The new trains attracted around eight million new passengers and generated additional revenue of Rs five billion.
Answering a question, the official said the department had retrieved 383 acres land worth Rs 30 billion, besides vacating 38 kilometers, out of 43 km long Karachi Circular Railways land, from the encroachers. The Pakistan Railways had renovated and up-graded Lahore, Hasan Abdal and Nankana Sahib Railway Stations. It also inducted 1,365 numbers High Capacity/ High Speed Hopper Wagons to enhance earning as well as efficiency.