Pakistan Railways come up with innovative plan to overcome deficit

Pakistan Railways come up with innovative plan to overcome deficit
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ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Railways is planning to sell out as many as 10 commercial plots worth billions of rupees located in Lahore and Karachi division to overcome deficit of the department.

Presently Pakistan Railway's deficit is Rs 40 billion while the organization is also under the debt of Rs 25 billion, official sources told.

They said the minister has directed the Railways Real Estate Development Company (REDIMCO) to formulate a master plan for the sale of commercial land of the department as soon as possible.

The sources said that Pakistan Railways assets will be utilized through public-private joint ventures. All the Divisional Superintendents of Lahore, Karachi, Quetta and Peshawar have been appointed as focal persons in this regard.

The focal persons, they said would coordinate with Chief Secretaries and Boards of Revenues in concerned provinces for the early transfer of land to the department as the major portion is not officially in the name of Pakistan Railways .

According to a document of land section of the department, Pakistan Railways has owned more than 105,000 acres of land. The Railway administration has nominated four divisional superintendents as focal persons to properly transfer the land of railways to it.

Out of 168,000 acres of PR’s land, 63,500 acres of land has already been transferred on its name. Similarly, out of total land, 125,000 acres of land is under operation of Pakistan Railways , while 19,234 acres has been fixed for future usage and 12,568 acres have been given on lease while 4,010 acres land is under control of land mafia and Katchi Abadies, 4,525 acres is agriculture land while 413 acres is commercial land which has worth of billions.

Pakistan Railways has owned more than 48,000 acres in Punjab, 34,300 acres in Sindh, 20,000 acres in Balochistan and 3,279 acres in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The sources said that Ministry of Railways has requested the Cabinet Division to lease out or sell more than 20,000 acres of Pakistan Railways land which is presently in the possession of the department and is not in any usage.

Over the losses of Pakistan Railways , they said the main reason of losses to the department was that no improvement had been made in the freight sector for the last many years.

They said one-window operation will be initiated for the freight handling to facilitate the people, as the new government attaches top priority to the enhancement of the railways’ revenue and reduction of its deficit.

The new administration was also considering curtailing the railways’ expenses by 15 per cent through austerity measures, as the minister has sought details of protocol vehicles under use of the officials, they added. - APP

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