Pakistan Railways pension payments exceed salary bill

Of 49.850b revenue generated in 2017-18, Rs30.960b paid to pensioners


Tariq Virk


The Pakistan Railways (PR) generated total revenue of Rs49.850 billion in the fiscal year 2017-18, however a greater chunk of this pool was disbursed as pensions by the national enterprise, rendering it unable to pursue the provision of quality services to its customers.

As per a document available with this scribe, around Rs30.960 billion had been paid in the capacity of pensions by the PR during 2016-17.

It further revealed that amid the fact that the number of the pensioners decreased during the past five years, the amount of pension had increased to a hefty amount of Rs18.100 billion.

According to the current data, the number of pensioners has decreased to 10701 from the earlier figure of 78000 in 1988-89.

It was revealed in the document that the total income of the railways department was Rs1.50 billion in 1988-89; now that has reached to Rs30. 960 billion.

Likewise, the total income of PR was Rs18.80 billion in 2012-13, however, it increased to Rs49.850 billion in 2017-18. Interestingly, nearly 62.31per cent of the total income of the railways had been disbursed as pensions in the current year.

It was for the first time in 2016-17 that PR employees’ pension had increased from the salaries as the department had paid Rs26.160 billion as salaries, however, the total pension amount was around Rs28.770 billion.

The officials of the department stated that a large portion of the PR’s income was being spent on payment of the pensions and owing to that reason the national entity could not launch new projects.

The railways’ losses could be controlled if the federal government had paid the pensions to its employees, said officials.