PR observes 8.4 percent earning growth in FY20’s first eight month

PR observes 8.4 percent earning growth in FY20’s first eight month

ISLAMABAD-Pakistan Railways' gross earnings grew by 8.4 percent during the first eight months of Financial Year (FY) 2020 (July-February) as increased reach to Rs 36,916.85 million compared with Rs 34,066.12 million during the same period last year.

During July-February fiscal year 2020, the number of carried passengers decreased to 39.4 million against 39.9 million during the corresponding period last year, representing a decline of 1.20 percent, said a document.

The passenger traffic (km million), freight carried (tonnes million), and freight (tonnes km million) declined by 3.54 percent, 0.56 percent, and 0.07 percent, respectively.

Pakistan Railways (PR) was a single major mode of transport in the public sector, contributing to economic growth and providing national integration.

The department comprises total of 474 locomotives included 458 diesel engine and 12 steam engines for 7,791 km length of the route across the country.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) assisted the department to prepare Pakistan Railways Strategic Plan (PRSP), which has been approved by Railways Board.

The ADB also gave training to Pakistan Railways staff on route optimization bringing efficiency in current operations. PRSP includes suggestions to facilitate PR, achieving its targets of being efficient and profitable. The policy dialogue was still going-on.

Pakistan Railways has recently submitted a business plan to the Supreme Court of Pakistan, outlining a strategy for turning the railways into a profitable entity.

The 121-page report was prepared in connection with a suo-motu case on the losses incurred by the Railways.

It was informed in the report that 50 percent of its train engines were old and need replacement. Besides, a shortage of the required funds was affecting the repair work of engines.

As per the proposed plan, the Pakistan Railways would need to sign international joint venture agreements to become a profitable entity. Passengers would be provided with secure, comfortable, and affordable travel facilities.

Pakistan Railways would require the assistance of other departments to make itself financially stable. It would also need political and financial support and effective monitoring of its governance and the Railway's board. The entire Railway system would be digitalized, and the private sector needs to be engaged in the process.