LAHORE - An independent audit company Tuesday submitted forensic report before the Supreme Court, revealing that the losses of Pakistan Railways reached Rs 40 billion in 2017.

A three-member bench led by Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar was hearing the suo motu notice taken at the Supreme Court Lahore registry. Justice Umar Ata Bandial and Justice Ijazul Ahsan were the other members of the bench.

Complying with the court orders, AF Ferguson & Co prepared the report and informed that the Railways’ losses were Rs30 billion in 2012 and 13. It said Pakistan Railways was going into losses instead of making revenues.  The report also revealed that during the financial years 2012-13, the railways’ loss was Rs30 billion, Rs32 billion in 2013-14, Rs27 billion in 2014-15, Rs26 billion in 2015-16 and Rs40 billion in 2013-17.

It also revealed that the revenue generated by the railways was Rs18 billion, Rs22 billion, Rs31 billion and Rs36 billion and Rs40 billion from 2012 to 2017.

In April, Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar ordered AF Ferguson & Co to carry out forensic audit to determine the losses of Railways. Former minister for railways Khwaja Saad Rafiq was also there in the court on the last hearing.

The audit report said 70 per cent of the revenue was being used for payment of pension to the retired employees. With every passing day, it was becoming difficult for the railways to deliver because of different constrains, it said.  Quality of age and age of tracks, quality and poor locomotives/coaches and quality and efficacy of telecommunication system were the major constrains, it said.

“The organization, it is imperative, be run with proper planning and in an efficient manner,” the report said, adding that “the present situation of the railways is the result of poor planning for last 70 years,”.

The report also made it clear that no effective planning was done during the last five years to uplift Pakistan Railways.

At this, Chief Justice of Pakistan expressed serious concerns, observing that “It is surprising that how Pakistan could be run when the state institutions haven’t been functioning,”.  The CJP directed the railways authorities to file rejoinder to the audit report.

The CJP also summoned former railways minister Khwaja Saad Rafiq on the next date of hearing which is yet to be fixed by the office.  In a separate matter related to the appointment of public sector medical universities’ VCs, the Supreme Court was informed that vacancies of the vice chancellors had been filled at four out of six public sector medical universities in Punjab.

A provincial law officer Anwaar Hussain informed a three-member bench led by Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar about progress in VCs’ appointment with the public sector universities.

The four universities where the VCs have been appointed include Kind Edward Medical University, Fatima Jinnah Medical University, Rawalpindi Medical University and Faisalabad Medical University.

The law officer said summary for the appointment of VC at Nishter Medical University was lying pending before the chancellor/governor while a similar summary with regard to University of Health Sciences had been returned by the chancellor with some reservation on the nominee of the search committee.  Another summary would be sent to the chancellor very soon, he said.  During the hearing, a sealed report of an inquiry into the appointment of suspended vice-chancellor of Lahore College for Women University Prof Uzma Qureshi was submitted before the court. The court put off further hearing until July 28.