ISLAMABAD - Ministry of Railways has earned around Rs 12770.02 million revenue by leasing out its’ across the country land for various purposes including short term basis in the last ten years.

Pakistan Railways has leased and licensed out around 15025.44 acres land to generate extra revenue to the government departments for 21 to 33 years as per the policy, an official in the Ministry of Railways told APP.

Giving province wise details of the land, he said that in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 656.98 acres were leased out, 12667.30 acres in Punjab, and 1560.13 acres in Sindh, 137.25 acres in Balochistan and 3.79 acres in Pakistan Railways network.

He said the assessment of commercial site was conducted through approved accredited evaluators of Pakistan Banking Association/State Bank of Pakistan for fixing a benchmark and then advertised for leasing in leading newspapers.

For agricultural purposes, he said that through competitive bidding by fixing ‘ousat bay’ rate as reserve price for open auction for a lease term of three years for cultivable land and extendable for another three years for barren land. He said that for premium shops through competitive bidding by fixing the reserve price of premium and monthly rent on the basis of market rate of the locality for a lease term of ten years.

Stacking purposes, the official said that through bidding for a year and extendable for another year. Nursery purposes, he said that through bidding for a term of three years, extendable for another two years.

He said that for parking stands land is leased out on yearly basis for already developed stands. For new parking sites, lease term is three years, extendable for another two years. The official said that Pakistan Railways was earned Rs 1636.71 million from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Rs 7299.39 million from Punjab, Rs 2834.19 million from Sindh, Rs 486.29 million from Balochistan and Rs 513.44 million from railway network.

Railways planning add five more freight trains in 100-day

Pakistan Railways is all set to increase freight train from 10 to 15 during first 100 day of the present government to overcome the deficit of the department.

In this regard, Minister for Railways Sheikh Rashid had established a task force on freight trains to improve its business, an official in the Ministry of Railways told APP.

He said that Pakistan Railway had earned Rs 1,367.038 million more than previous year till 20-10-2018 and installation of tracking system in trains was in final stage. By this, there would be strict monitoring of trains movement. Fuel expenditures would be reduced by approximately one billion rupees per annum.

Railways colonies would be handed over to Water And Power Development Authority (WAPDA) as the electricity was being purchased from the authority in bulk on commercial rates and subsidized to Railways colonies on domestic rates. There would be a huge saving on this account, he added.

He said that Freight Deposit Account (FDA) based agreement with ‘Ms Maple Leaf Cement Factory’ and MoUs with Awan Trading Company, Chishtian Logistics, Bestway Cement, Solution Enterprises, Fatima Group for transportation of Coal and Mughal Logistics for containerized traffic had been signed.

At present, the official said that average 9-10 freight trains were being operated from the port on daily basis as compared to one train in the year 2013. Introduction of competitive freight rates to attract road traffic to rail.

He said that Pakistan Railways entered into an agreement with Pakistan Freight Transportation Company (PRFTC) for transportation of 12,000 MTs of Coal per day with running of five Coal trains daily for Coal Fired Power Plant, Sahiwal and transportation of 345000 MTs per month of coal to Jamshoroo Power Plant per day with running of five trains per day.

Pakistan Railways entered into an agreement with Pakistan State Oil (PSO) for transportation of 200,000 million tons of petroleum products per annum from Karachi to up-country destinations, he added.

The official said that high capacity, high speed hopper trucks had been inducted in the current fleet for swift movement of coal.