LAHORE: The Pakistan Railways (PR) has decided to bring down its freight charges by 10 percent on transportation of coal, fertilizer, cement and other commodities because of reduction in fuel prices.

“We have decided to bring down our charges by Rs 5000 per container wagon and the new fares will be applicable after 12 midnight today,” said Federal Railways Minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad while addressing a press conference here on Saturday.

He said the railway is ready to launch passenger trains operations from May 10, but some provinces were not onboard. “We are trying to take up the case of restoring passengers’ operations once again by discussing it with the province within two to three days,” the minister added.

Sheikh Rasheed said the institution has 77,000 employees and 200,000 pensioners and it has no other option except to run its operations to pay them salaries and pensions before Eid. He hoped they would be able to restore passenger trains before Eid. He said there were 142 trains on the network of railways before lockdown but they may only run 30 trains before Eid this year.

He said the LESCO will install its meters in all the Railways Colonies till December 30, 2020, and a meeting with the secretary energy had held in this connection.

Regarding train accidents, the Minister said that both high and low ranking officials have to pass through legal procedure on showing negligence in performing their duties which lead to accidents.