ISLAMABAD: The ministry of finance agreed on Friday to release Rs11.5 billion next month under a bailout package for Pakistan Railways approved by the cabinet in December last year.
During a meeting with Finance Minister Abdul Hafeez Shaikh and Secretary Finance Waqar Masood Khan, Railways Minister Haji Ghulam Ahmed Bilour said the fund allocated by the federal cabinet for maintenance and rehabilitation of railways was urgently needed.
Mr.Bilour complained that official backing for the National Logistics Cell had caused financial losses to Pakistan Railways. He said there were rules in force in most of the countries which prevented inter-district movement of cargo trucks, but in Pakistan a single truck could roam freely across the country.
Mr.Shaikh asked the railways minister to move a PC-1 of the projects of his ministry. Mr Bilour said timely release of the fund would make 2011 the year of railway’s up gradation.
He said had the finance ministry timely released funds in the past, the railways would have repaired around 80 locomotives, adding that his ministry had the capacity to repair around 12 locomotives a month, but it needed funds for the purpose.
Mr. Bilour said the Railways would spend Rs6.1 billion on maintenance of 145 locomotives, Rs4 billion on rehabilitation of tracks and coaches and Rs1 billion for future requirements.
After maintenance, he said, 75 per cent of locomotives would be used for carrying freight trains and the remaining for passenger coaches.
Mr.Bilour claimed freight service brought in profits all over the world while passenger coaches suffered loss.