Pakistan's Railways Minister has proposed the sale of railway land to end nearly PKR 37bn deficit and requested PM Imran Khan to promulgate an ordinance for the purpose.
Railways faces a deficit of PKR 37bn as induction of new trains and high expenses take a toll on state-owned entity's revenue.
With costs running high, Railways has run into losses for years now.
Pakistan Railways to sell land to clear deficit
Khan sought details of land owned by railways: Minister
"The Prime Minister has sought details of the precious land owned by the Railways in different cities within a fortnight," Railways Minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad said yesterday.
Ahmad, the newly-appointed Minister for Railways, said all the land, which belongs to Pakistan Railways, would be retrieved from those who had grabbed it as the state-owned entity owns a huge amount of land.
No action will be taken against dwellers of shanties: Minister
However, Ahmad said, "No action will be taken against dwellers of shanties on the railway land because of directives from the Prime Minister."
Describing the condition of Pakistan Railways' hospitals as deplorable, the Railways Minister said he was contemplating involving the private sector for bringing about improvement in the organization but without compromising the rights of railway employees.
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Plan to run these hospitals under public-private partnership mode: Ahmad
"We plan to run these hospitals under the public-private partnership mode. We are even ready to hand over control of these hospitals to the private sector on 'as-it-is' basis," Ahmad said.
Ahmad said that talks were underway to hand over control of all railway hospitals to the Army Medical Corps.
The Minister also said Pakistan Railways was working internally to correct its freight business.
Additional freight trains
Railways had planned to run 12-15 additional freight trains: Ahmad
Ahmad said the Railways had planned to run 12 to 15 additional freight trains. He sought government's directives for Pakistan State Oil (PSO) and other state-run organizations to use train services for their cargo delivery.
He said 318 acres of land would be acquired by Pakistan Railways in Gwadar while train services would be initiated for border posts of Taftan and Torkham.