According to senior ministry officials, the Pakistan Railways (PR) has experienced a 20 percent decline in revenue generation due to the country’s current economic situation. During a briefing to the National Assembly Standing Committee on PR, it was revealed that the revenue from passenger trains has decreased by 20 percent, while freight revenue, including the transportation of coal to the Sahiwal power plant that generates 320 Mega Watts of electricity, has also shown a downward trend.

The Standing Committee on Railways, chaired by Muhammad Mueen Wattoo, convened to discuss various matters related to the PR, including a recent rape incident at Okara railway station.

Salman Sadiq Sheikh, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Pakistan Railways, provided a detailed briefing to the committee members on the challenges faced by the Ministry of Railways. The CEO highlighted the financial difficulties encountered by Pakistan Railways and mentioned that the ministry manages its own expenditure, including salaries and pension payments, through the revenues it generates, rather than relying on the government.

Both the committee members and ministry officials expressed deep concern about the decline in revenue, as it indicates that passengers are not opting for rail travel, which is a more cost-effective mode of transportation compared to other alternatives. This highlights an underlying issue of subpar services. The committee expressed its determination to conduct a trial journey by rail to investigate the matter further. To increase revenue from freight, the committee advised the ministry to assess the feasibility of transporting fuel, gypsum, and other materials via freight trains

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