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Railway: now and then


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THIS refers to two items carried by Dawn (June 16) relating to Pakistan Railways. One was about Rs105.5 million surplus budget with Rs47.2 million payment to central government as return on its investment. This is exactly 50 years ago and the current position of the same institute is reflected on the  business page in a news item which said railways suffered a loss of Rs27 bn with a federal government subsidy of Rs32 billion.

This is where we have reached in the last 50 years. The story is similar for almost all of commercial and business entities being run by the government. We should always keep in mind that ‘less government is good government’.


Comments (9) Closed

Rauf, Jacobabad Jun 25, 2012 03:33pm
Almost every department of Pakistan has fallen a humble prey to never-ending corruption which ultimately results in heavy losses. Sadly, Pak Railways has taken a turn into the menace of corruption, mismanagement and lack of attention. A rapid decline in Railways has caused a lot of people considerable inconvenience in travelling throughout the country. Approximately 65 million passengers annualy travel through Pak Railways while important products like wheat, sugar, coal, petroleum and myriad of other products are carried and distributed through this institution. The current quagmire where Pak Railways stands is quite embarrassing. Its pretty clear that the ministry seems least interested in reviving the institution. If it continues to retard, the day is not far when we will lose our Railways.
Iqbal Jun 25, 2012 12:56pm
How can a company thrive without hiring proper people ? I have never seen PIA or Railways or Wapda or KESC hiring from IBA or LUMS or NED or UET ?
ShahidShaikh1 Jun 25, 2012 04:45pm
.These guys cannot manage corner store Shahid Shaikh, Ontario, Canada
B S Pani Jun 25, 2012 04:05pm
Absolutely right! Again a few examples from across the border. Indian Railway Services (IRS) and Indian Railways Engineering Services (IRES) are highly sought after services by best graduates in the country. IR spends huge sums in running its own engineering and Administrative training institutes. Like the Armed Forces- Railways have a culture and a way of life of their own. There was huge corruption in IR too at the lower levels (TTE and ticket sales etc.) but heavy computerization and on line booking has brought it down to negligible levels. The Indian railways website is today one of the highest used service web sites in the world and very-very efficient. For countries like ours- railways are the life line of the nation. Sure- PR can gain a lot by following the Indian and Chinese models of management and human resource development. By the way - Chinese railways is helping build the Mumbai metro and assiting IR in developing international standard stations.
herath Jun 25, 2012 10:32am
railway is run by rail guards, policemen and Qulis. Money from tickets purchased on board mostly goes into their pockets without any check with proper sharing for the high ups.
Agha Ata Jun 25, 2012 11:49am
Most people, I would say, even a little more than most people, who have the opportunity to be corrupt, in most departments, I would say, in a little more than most departments in Pakistan Government, are corrupt !
B S Pani Jun 25, 2012 07:27am
Public Sector is not always bad! If freed from political interference and allowed to be run by professionals, they do better than private sector in contributing to the society in sectors where private sector would never go in. Among the top 20 companies in India - 14 are PSUs. Best employer in the country is National Thermal Power Corp.(NTPC). Of course- some of the worst performers are also PSUs. But post 1980 PSUs in India are generations ahead - including the new look India Railways. Of course- the best example of Govt. run railways system is that of Chinese National Railways! Personally, after 37 years, I retired in 2007 from a PSU- National Aluminium Co.- one of the most profitable and richest organisations in India!
ika Jun 25, 2012 01:27pm
It means that in this land of pure from the President to peon are corrupt, ALLAH save this country
caz Jun 25, 2012 01:17pm
We need Lalu Prasad Yadav to take charge of the railways .