Claiming that the Railway Department had incurred a loss of about Rs. 10 billion during recent years, Transport Minister Bandula Gunwardane said train fares should be revised to minimise the loss.
He told Parliament that a policy decision should be taken to adjust the train fares to less than one-third of the bus fares.
Responding to a question by SJB MP Ashok Abeysinghe, the Minister said the Railway Department had earned an income of Rs. 2.6 billion in 2021 whereas Rs. 2.3 billion has been paid as overtime payments and Rs. 7 billion as salaries.
“The total loss incurred by the Railway Department in 2021 is Rs. 10 billion,” he said.
The Minister said inefficiency, fraud and corruption in the Railway Department should be stopped while revising the train fares so as to minimise the loss.
“We are taking steps to digitize the issue of tickets and seat reservations within three months to increase efficiency and minimise fraud and corruption. The train fare should also be revised. A policy decision should be taken to adjust train fares to less than one-third of the bus fare,” he said.
He also said steps were being taken to convert the Railway Department to an authority so as to minimise the loss.
“The decision-making process in a Department setting is so complex. It does not suit a commercial institution like the Railway Department,” he said. (Ajith Siriwardana and Yohan Perera)
sam Wednesday, 24 May 2023 04:07 PM
Oh revise fares and still run at a loss
Nish Wednesday, 24 May 2023 04:11 PM
What about reducing you and other ministers' vehicle allowances and allow yourself to commute by train
joshua Wednesday, 24 May 2023 04:36 PM
Oh what an important strategy!. Bandula you are a marvel
lester Wednesday, 24 May 2023 04:47 PM
what you need to do is ban overtime for all government workers. how can railway overtime exceed the money generated by ticket sales? its cheaper to hire additional workers than paying overtime. in other countries, you need prior supervisory approval to do government overtime and you need to submit a report what you accomplished during overtime.
Ram Wednesday, 24 May 2023 04:56 PM
Another avenue opened to earn / collect more money to government to maintain security for politicians and the extra large Cabinet
Gamini Wednesday, 24 May 2023 06:10 PM
Just privatize the railways if you want to make it profitable
Bandara Wednesday, 24 May 2023 06:11 PM
you cannot run a railway, nor a airline-juts do what you know- run a private tuition class
suresh Wednesday, 24 May 2023 06:13 PM
Increase taxes of private sector workers and continue to pay salaries to the excessive staff. Great way to run the country
Dee Wednesday, 24 May 2023 07:37 PM
Make it a PPP . Even with fare increase- it will still make a loss. Soon the overtime will surpass salary.
dickie bird Wednesday, 24 May 2023 09:28 PM
Provided there is a guarantee there will be no strikes and the trains run on time
Buddhist Wednesday, 24 May 2023 10:37 PM
First charge those Ministers who imported engines and carriages which could not be used in SL railway lines.
DOT Thursday, 25 May 2023 05:23 AM
Dear Ho. Minister, While agreeing with your suggestion, we, commuters kindly urge to revise facilities and punctuality.
Karunaratne Thursday, 25 May 2023 08:38 AM
Mr Minister, how many countries have you been to so far? Have you ever seen public transport decorated with all kinds of Thorombal stuff in other countries? Most of the buses on the roads are like they just came out of a Tattoo parlour. A public transport must have a specific colour code which can be identified from far. If this simple fact cannot be understood by the authorities, what can people expect? The private bus owners have turned this country into a one big mess by Tattooed vehicles on the road depicting the poor taste in people's mind. A bus fleet should be painted in a decent way as in many other countries.
Karunapala Fernando Thursday, 25 May 2023 03:55 PM
Bring more stolen gold and gem to Colombo!!
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