KARACHI: General Manager Railways (Operation)
Nasir Zaidi, has said that Railway would give thought to reduce the
railway fares only after its fuel reserves for 45 days, which were
purchased on exorbitanly high price, are exhausted and new reserves
developed at lower prices.
Talking to APP at Railway Divisional Headquarters here Monday
he said that railway's financial experts are preparing estimates as
to how much relief the railway would get after exhausting the
existing reserves and purchasing new reserves.
He said these estimates would be submitted to the Government
and instructions would be sought whether the relief achieved be used
to reduce the existing fiscal deficit or the fares.
He pointed out that when diesel prices shot up exorbitantly,
railway had not increased the passenger fares.
Replying a question, Nasir Zaidi said that in order to
overcome its financial problems, railway has increased its focus
on freight traffic and the target for current year has been
increased by Rs 2 billion – from Rs 6.2 billion last year to Rs 8.5
billion this year.
He said that frequency of freight trains is being increased
while to attract more freight for downward journey, the railway has
offered 50 percent concession in freight charges.
GM Railway said that among other factors, 20 percent
increase in salaries and 20 percent increase in the pension amount
also overburdened the railway financially besides higher payments had
to be made because of dollar-rupee disparity.
He pointed out that this year Pakistan Railway paid Rs 2
billion instalment to China from here it has purchased locomotives
Nasir Zaidi said that railway's deficit will start reducing
once conditions become conducive.