ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The Minister for Railways Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed has told the National Assembly that the revenue of Pakistan Railways has increased to Rs 17.741 billion in the Financial Year 2019-2020 up to October 2019, as compared to Rs 16.9 billion of corresponding period of 2018-19 and the budget target of Rs 16.5 billion.
In written replies to various questions, the minister apprised the House that the expenditure of Pakistan Railways in the FY 2019-2020 is Rs 32 billion as compared to Rs 27 billion in 2018-19.
Sheikh Rasheed told that in the FY 2018-19, the revenue of Pakistan Railways was increased by 9.96 percent as compared to corresponding period 2017-18 while 1.26 percent increase was observed in the expenditure for 2018-19 as compared to 2017-18.
The minister further told that the deficit of Pakistan Railways was decreased by Rs 4 billion during 2018-2019 as compared to the FY 2017-2018.
Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed told that Pakistan Railways started 22 new passenger trains and increased average freight trains from 08 to 13 trains per day.
The railways minister told that the targets were achieved despite an increase of Rs 4 billion in the expenditure on account of fuel prices as well as salary. However, the Ministry of Finance provided subsidy of Rs 3.083 billion each month on account of pay and pension, he added.
Likewise, he told that the Account of Pakistan Railways are audited by the Auditor General of Pakistan every year which is an independent institution. The figures of 2017-18 were audited but the figures of 2018-19 are under audit process.
To a separate question, the told the National Assembly that at present, the maximum speed of the trains on Mainline-I (ML-1) is 100 km/hour, and on ML-2 and ML-3, train run at the speed of 80 km/h.
The minister told that under China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), ML-I will be upgraded after which the speed of passenger trains will be increased to 160 km/hour.