ISLAMABAD/LAHORE - Pakistan Railways (PR) will shortly announce hike in fares from 10 to 30 per cent for passengers, while the axing of over 10,000 employees is also under consideration. After the increase in Railways fares the total impact would be Rs2.332 billion per annum, General Manager PR Isfaq Khattak informed the National Assemblys Standing Committee on Railways here on Thursday. Khattak also rushed to remark that it was up to the Government to announce hike in fares as Pakistan Railways (PR) was charging un-revised fares since 2008. It was under consideration to fire over 5000 temporary and 5000 permanent staff from the department, it was discussed in meeting. It was informed that the Pakistan Railways (PR) devised staff reduction strategy under which 5,000 temporary staff (TLA) would be removed in 2010-11 that would save the Pakistan Railways Rs30 million and other 5,000 surplus staff would save it Rs65 million. While, in the year 2011-12, about 10,000 surplus staff would save the Pakistan Railways around Rs130 million. The committee chaired by Sardar Ayaz Sadiq also unanimously passed a resolution requesting the Prime Minister for releasing 11.5 billion bail out package for the Railways as soon as possible otherwise the its operation would come to standstill. This is the criminal negligence of Government as the decisions are not implemented properly, said Sardar Ayaz talking to The Nation after the meeting. If the proposal regarding firing of employees will come in committee, we will definitely oppose it. If they are interested to fire lower staff why they do not treat the employees of officials cadre in the same manner, Khattak said, adding that this would create big political chaos if the situation was not improved immediately. While in the meeting, General Manager Railways said that the POL prices linked with the prices in the international market but at the same time the same fate prices were not increased in PR. He said that the Cabinet in its recent meeting approved increase in fares but with condition to consult Finance Ministry on it. He also informed the committee that 10 per cent increase in fare of passenger trains would generate Rs62 million per annum. Likewise, 15 per cent increase in fares of inter- city trains would generate Rs273 million per annum. He said that 20 per cent increase in fares of express trains Rs1.253 billion, 25 per cent increase in fares of non- stop trains would result earning of Rs471 million. Giving the details, he further said that 30 per cent increase in parcel/luggage rates would help the Pakistan Railways in getting Rs274 million per annum. While, the overall increase in PR fares would generate Rs2.332 billion per year. Later, the committee in a unanimous resolution recommended to the Government to provide Rs11.1 billion financial package immediately. Chairman of the committee said that the availability of timely finance could help improving the Railways department in 4 to 5 years. He emphasised for government assistance package saying that it would enable the organisation to run passenger and cargo coaches. Talking about the utilisation of Rs 11.5 billion financial assistance for Railways, he informed the meeting that Rs6.1 billion for rehabilitation of 145 locomotives, Rs2 billion for deferred track maintenance, Rs2 billion for deferred maintenance of coaches, and Rs1.0 billion for creating strategic reserves of oil (HSD). He further said that 145 locomotives would be repaired in 18 months and it would generate Rs11.700 billion per annum. Khattak said the required strategic fuel reserves for emergencies/defence was minimum of 35 days and Pakistan Railways normally had 2 to 3 days of oil to run the locomotives. He said that shortage of fuel badly affected the 30-day operations of the Pakistan Railways, which also affected its revenue generation. Elaborating the facets, he said that the department has to pay Rs700 million to PSO as deferred payments. Giving the details of revenue, he said that PR revenue was Rs 522.8million and total cost incurred was Rs4.043 billion which was not viable. He stressed the need for financial assistance and shared that 20 per cent expenditures were incurred on operation while the remaining 80 per cent expenditures were incurred on salaries, pension and other expenses. The committee expressed dissatisfaction over the performance of PR Legal and Land Management Sections. Meanwhile, the Ministry sources informed that albeit the Federal Cabinet have approved financial package of Rs11.1 billion for repair and rehabilitation of Pakistan Railways (PR) yet approved money is likely to be released in instalments. Sources informed that using the excuse of overall financial problems with the economy, the Finance Ministry has expressed its inability to release entire funds allocated to the PR at once. At the maximum the Finance Ministry could release these funds in instalments that too subject to the availability of sufficient finances. Meanwhile, the cash-stricken Pakistan Railways has no more oil to run its passenger trains from Friday (today) as the oil reserves have gone below the dead level on Thursday, The Nation has learnt. The freight trains operation has already been stopped by the department since the crisis began on Saturday. At 4pm on Thursday, there was only 90,000 litres diesel available at Lahore and 44,000 liters at Faisalabad, it was learnt. 'If the supply was not ensured by Pakistan State Oil immediately, we would not be able to run passenger trains on Friday, Divisional Superintendent Lahore Division Javed Anwar said while talking to this reporter. He said that approximately 50 passenger trains leave from Lahore and 24 from Faisalabad on daily basis, which may be stopped owing to the crisis. The operating authorities termed the reserves at dead level when the quantity of diesel was available below 81,000 liter at main stations. The problem began on Saturday when a cheque for Rs 700 million issued by Pakistan Railways to Pakistan State Oil was not honoured. The PSO subsequently stopped the supply of fuel to the Railways. The freight operation was shut down while the authorities also suspended several passenger trains. Interestingly, no official from the department was taking responsibility of the shortages. On the other hand, spokesperson of Pakistan State Oil said the supply to the Railways stopped on Tuesday after giving 1.2 million liter HSD to the department on Monday. 'The Railways issued us a cheque of Rs 300 million for diesel supply on request not to present it before the bank for cash because there was no funds in the Railways account, the spokesperson added. 'Railways was already defaulter of Rs 750 million and reluctant to have fuel supply agreement with PSO. 'We often requested Railways for the agreement but could not get positive response, she added.