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ISLAMABAD: Following an increase in fuel prices, the Pakistan Railways (PR) has announced an increase of five percent in fares for all mail/express, intercity, shuttle, passenger trains, and saloons, effective from September 2.

As per a notification issued here on Friday, the decision has been taken due to a recent surge in the prices of petroleum products.

The notification issued by the PR stated that fares of all coaches of passenger trains and shuttle trains have been jacked up, the new fares will come into effect from September 2, 2023.

The decision will also affect the parcel rates.

In the notification, the PR said: “It is notified for the information and guidance of all concerned that five per cent parcel/luggage rates will be increased with effect from 2nd September 2023.”

The government, the other day, following the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra)’s recommendations has increased the prices of petroleum products by up to Rs 18.44 per litre amid an increase in global oil rates and depreciation of Pakistan rupee value against the US dollar. The petrol has been hiked by Rs 14.91 per litre while high-speed diesel (HSD) by Rs 18.44 per litre.

Now, the price of petrol is Rs 305.36 per liter and that of diesel Rs 311.84 per liter. This is the second upward revision in fares of passenger trains since August 15, 2023.

The Director of IT at Pakistan Railways will be in charge of implementing the fare increase for advance bookings on all mail/express and intercity trains, the notification said.

Travellers planning to book tickets will see the new fare reflected in the reservation systems. The updated fare table, which details the changes, will be available to the public on the official website of Pakistan Railways.

Furthermore, all booking and reservation offices, as well as railway stations, have been directed to implement and communicate this new fare structure to passengers. Also, fares will be rounded off, adhering to a guideline issued back in 2019, ensuring ease of transactions for passengers and ticketing staff alike.

Railway officials have emphasized the importance of accurate fare implementation. Any discrepancies, if noticed by station or commercial staff, should be reported within a week. Failure to do so will result in the staff being held accountable, the notification warns.

The reason behind the fare increase has not been detailed in the notification, leaving many to speculate on the factors driving this decision. Travellers are urged to verify the new fares on the official website or at railway stations before planning their trips.

It issued a separate notification for a five percent hike in fares of Mail Express, intercity, passenger, and saloon with effect from September 2.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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