Islamabad : Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz on Saturday termed railways the lifeline of logistics chain, adding the government was working to improve its productivity and performance to make Pakistan Railways a profit-making, customer oriented and modern organization.
He was chairing a meeting to review the performance of Pakistan Railways here at PM House. The Prime Minister said there was a need for massive restructuring and renovation of the entire railways system to make it a more reliable, dependable and financially viable organization.
He asked Pakistan Railways to prepare a comprehensive in four weeks to achieve these objectives.
The Prime Minister said Pakistan Railways had a big untapped potential and had huge lands, which need to be managed intelligently to generate revenue.
The Prime Minister said Pakistan Railways should prepare a business strategy focusing more on passenger and freight services, yield profitability, marketing and better use of its assets to increase profits.
The Prime Minister said there was a need for more investments in Pakistan Railways and the restructuring and business plans of Pakistan Railways should explore investment and funding sources also.
Minister for Railways Sheikh Rashid Ahmed informed the Prime Minister that a number of steps had recently been taken to improve the performance of Pakistan Railways.
He said on the guidance of Prime Minister four high capacity express container trains had been introduced, which operate daily from Karachi-Lahore.
The travel time has been reduced from 56 hours to 28 hours, he added. He said another cargo express had been launched between Faisalabad-Multan-Karachi that operates twice weekly.
Minister for Railways said daily loading of freight wagons had been increased from 600 to about 1000 and turn round time of about 140 hours with high capacity wagons between Karachi-Lahore had been achieved as against 360 hours with conventional freight stock.
Secretary Ministry of Railways in his presentation said during the first nine months of current financial year Pakistan railways generated additional revenues of Rs 2 billion while there was an increase of Rs.500 million in its expenditure.
He said Pakistan Railways was planning a number of new initiatives to make it financially viable.