LAHORE, October 23 (Internews):
For the first time in its history,
Pakistan Railways has generated more money than it spends and from
December onwards, it will be firmly on track to earn profits.
"We earned Rs 3.246 billion up to October 10 as against the budgetary
target of Rs 3.229 billion set by the Ministry of Finance, exceeding the
target by Rs 17.5 million," Railway spokesman Iqbal Khan has said.
During the first quarter of the current fiscal year, July-September
2001, the Railways generated Rs 3.069 billion as against an expenditure
of Rs 2.496 billion - generating Rs 573 million more than its
"The change from red to blue figures has been achieved for the first
time in two decades," Khan said.
Figures for the Pakistan Railway's last three years show that in
1998-99, the gap between expenditure and revenue was Rs 2.63 billion,
which was reduced to Rs 819 million during 2000-2001.
During the current fiscal year, Khan said, the Railways would generate
more than its current expenditure despite an additional burden of Rs 700
million incurred due to increase in wages and pensions from 1 December
The spokesman said that an exhaustive audit revealed 21,000 ghost
pensioners, a position that has been rectified. The Railways has also
surrendered 38,000 unfilled posts from the sanctioned strength of
133,000, which has been brought down to 95,000 against which 92,000
employees are working.
Giving details of land assets, Khan said the Railways owned a total
159,440 acres of which 3,648 acres had been encroached by 2000 by land
grabbers. Of this 785 acres have been retrieved by September 2001.
Railways generates Rs 506 million from commercialisation of its
Pakistan Railways will get 15 new locomotives and 40 coaches from China
next year from a total of 69 locomotives and 175 coaches, to be made
locally as a part of a technology transfer agreement, by 2004.
The administration has also embarked on a drive for punctuality of
trains, improvement in tracks, provision of light and water in branch
line trains, laying double tracks in some sectors. -Internews