‘PR’s loss amounted to Rs 54b in the last 3 years’

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ISLAMABAD – The minister of state for railways, Afzal Sandhu Wednesday informed the house that the Pakistan Railways had suffered a loss amounting to Rs 54213.653 million in the last three and half years.
“The PR suffered loss of Rs 5326.162 million in 2007-08, Rs 18609.121 million in 2008-09, Rs 20152.619 million in 2009-10 while the loss in the first half of the current fiscal year has reached to Rs 10125.751 million,” the minister further informed the house during the Question hour.
Elaborating steps being taken by the PR to control the losses, the minister said the train operation was being made cost oriented and 13 pairs trains had been closed. “100 economy class coaches have been rehabilitated and 690 coaches have been converted/rehabilitated,” he said. Responding to another question, Ghulam Ahmed Bilour told the house that Rs 13629.599 millions had been allocated for PR in the 2010-11 budget.
Sandhu said Lodhran-Sahiwal rail track has been doubled while work is underway on Sahiwal-Raiwind section. Railways ministry in a written reply informed the National Assembly that around 191 acres of railways land was under illegal occupation in Hyderabad while 0.71 acre has been retrieved from encroachers.
The minister of state for foreign affairs, Malik Ammad told the house that 190 Pakistanis had been deported from US in the last two years (2009-10). “Members of our community are generally imprisoned in US jails for charges related to overstay of visa duration, domestic violence, alcohol abuse, sexual assault, illegal arms possession and other minor felony,” the minister added.
The ministry of foreign affairs in a written reply told the house that Pakistan ‘s Consulate in Mumbai and India’s in Karachi have been closed for a long time under the tit-for-tat policy, creating problems for divided families of the two countries in getting visas. Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Malik Amad Khan gave hope to the divided families that a positive outcome was expected during Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi’s visit to India regarding re-opening of the consulates.