ISLAMABAD: The cash-starved Pakistan Railways is likely to receive Rs20 billion development funds in the upcoming federal budget 2012/13 against the total funding requirement of Rs327.945 billion to complete all 31 development schemes, sources said on Thursday.
Keeping in view the pace of funds allocation, it can easily be assumed that the ongoing development schemes of Pakistan Railways cannot be completed in next 16 to 20 years if no new scheme is added into the list of the public sector development programme (PSDP) with the condition that there will be no cost and time overrun, the sources said, adding that however, Pakistanís development sector experience shows that the cost and time overrun is norm in almost 99 percent cases.
For instance, for revival of Karachi circular railways as modern commuter system, the total cost of the project stood at Rs128.60 billion with the proposed Japanese assistance of Rs120.785 billion, but because of a number of reasons, this project is a classic example of cost and time overrun for which the proposed allocation for the next year is just Rs10 million, the sources said.
For road infrastructure, the government is all set to allocate Rs48.181 billion, more than double against Pakistan Railways in the next budget, despite dually established by the World Bank experts that the rate of commercial freight of Railways was four times less as compared to road transport.
The trucks of National Logistic Cell (NLC) caused unbearable damage to the Railways in the last several years, but this time it is likely that the proposed allocation for the railways is more than the outgoing fiscal year as in 2011/12 the allocation was Rs15 billion, the sources said.
The PPP-led regime has proposed allocation of Rs797 million for rehabilitation of Railways assets damaged during the riots of December 27 and 28, 2007. So far, the government has utilised Rs5.274 billion on this project in the last four years against the total required cost of Rs7.834 billion, the sources said.
They said, the Railways, which is running in acute financial losses of billions of rupees on per annum basis requires feasible business plan to ensure turnaround as its more than 40 percent revenues were consumed in salaries of 78,000 employees.
According to official documents made available to The News, the government has decided to kick-start 10 new schemes with an estimated cost of Rs171.051 billion, of which Rs6.185 billion would be allocated in the PSDP 2012/13.
In the new schemes, the government plans to allocate Rs1.5 billion for procurement of 150 DE locos as its total cost has been estimated at Rs55.488 billion.
The government is likely to allocate Rs800 million in 2012/13 for replacement of three brake down and rescue cranes and procurement of five sets relief train equipment with foreign exchange component of Rs494 million out of the total estimated cost of Rs1.638 billion.
The PC-1 has been revised for rehabilitation of 27 diesel locomotives for which the proposed allocation will stand at Rs1 billion against the total required cost of Rs5.108 billion, according to the document.
For doubling of track from Shahdara to Lalamusa, the government has allocated Rs300 million, doubling the track from Shahdara to Faisalabad, Rs285 million and rehabilitation of assets damaged in floods 2010 Rs300 million in the next fiscal year.
There will be an allocation of Rs300 million for track rehabilitation of Khanpur-Lodhran section and Rs1,200 million for mechanisation of track maintenance as its pilot project will be launched in 2012/13.
The government is likely to allocate Rs200 million in 2012/13 for rehabilitation of track on Lahore-Lalamusa section with new signaling and telecommunication system, out of the total estimated cost of Rs17.10 billion.
The proposed allocation for rehabilitation of rolling stock and track in connection with the bailout package will stand at Rs300 million, out of the total estimated cost of Rs4 billion.
There are 21 ongoing development schemes for which the proposed allocation stands at Rs14.682 billion, out of the total funding requirement of Rs157 billion.