Federal Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique on Tuesday admitted that the railways was in a financial crisis, but hoped to secure a ‘booster dose’ of cash cache from the federal government.
Addressing a ceremony on Tuesday, Rafique said that they had over Rs1.14 billion in payables of which Rs930 million were being released today and another Rs210 million will be released tomorrow.
“Railways is facing a financial crisis, that is plain for everyone to see,” he said.
He added that this month, employees were paid on January 20.
On increasing revenues, he said that they were working on short term lease.
He claimed that no one had bothered to fully read the Supreme Court order and as a result, some 2,600 shops along its network around the country were not leased. As a result, it caused a loss of billions to the railways.
He said that with the relaxation secured from the top court, tenderes for leasing these shops has also been issued and it is hoped that they will be put on rent soon.
Contracts of agricultural land of the railways is also up for renewal and together with the launch of the Green Line train, they hope to be able to raise around Rs2-3 billion in revenues.
Till that time, Rafique said that they will approach the federal government for a ‘booster dose’ of short-term cash bailout.
On conserving energy, he said that they will all have to make some sacrifices and change some habits to be able to live within means.
“It cannot be that you do not sacrifice but also want the country to get back on track,” he said.