Rail fares to go up by 10% to 25 %

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LAHORE – The federal cabinet on the recommendations of Pakistan Railways has given an approval to enhance rail fares by 10 to 25 percent and a summary in this regard has been sent to prime minister for a final nod.
Sources said the new fares would be applicable from the current month if the PM approved the summary, adding that the decision had been unearthed in the meeting of the National Assembly Standing Committee on Railways.
They said the railways secretary informed the meeting that the authority’s budget for the current fiscal year was Rs 613 billion, but it had received only Rs 21 billion in the first six months.
He said the number of locomotives in theory was 500, but only 156 of these were functional.
Railways GM Ashfaq Khatak informed the committee that the proposed hike in rail fares was being finalised, under which fares of passenger trains would be hiked by 10 percent, express train by 20 percent, non-stop rails by 25 percent and luggage rails by 30 percent, adding that inter-city rail fares would be raised by 15 percent.
He also informed the committee that the government had approved to discontinue 39 rails due to financial losses. Khattak said the fare increase decision was made due to mounting financial losses and non-availability of rail engines.
The number of employees in Pakistan Railways was 85,000, he said, adding that a proposal to sack around 20,000 employees was under consideration.
Talking to Pakistan Today over telephone later, Khattak said no railway employee would be removed from job, however, 10,000 to 15,000 employees could be declared surplus and adjusted in other government departments.