Sri Lanka Railways runs at a massive loss exceeding 94 per cent of income

Sri Lanka Railways runs at a massive loss exceeding 94 per cent of income

2 December 2019 02:19 pm

Sri Lanka Railways is running at a massive loss exceeding the recurrent income by 94 percent, official statement of accounts showed.

The recurrent income of the Railway Department was Rs.7.41 billion by 31 December 2018 and the recurrent expenditure amounted Rs.14.08 billion as at that date.

Accordingly, recurrent loss had been Rs.6.97 billion and the recurrent loss exceeding the recurrent income had been 94 per cent, official statistics revealed.

State Minister of Railway Services, C.B. Ratnayake has a major task in laying the foundation for turning round the department reducing loses and overheads, official sources said.   

Railway Department had been founded in the year 1867and it had gained operating profits from that year up to 1934. About 57 per cent of the total revenue had been earned by the transport of freight during that period.

Meanwhile several irregularities in the construction of railway lines have been fond out by a recent audit inspection.

For the construction of a railway line of 84 kilometer in length from Kurunegala to Habarana, provisions of Rs.500 million had been made under the Transport Ministry in the year 2018.

Since land acquisition activities relating to the implementation of the project were in slow progress, provisions of Rs.420 out the provisions made thereon had been transferred to the Matara Kataragama railway line project.

Even though this project should have been implemented within the Five Year‟s Plan from the year 2016 to 2020, only Rs.56 million had been spent for the acquisition of lands by the month of May 2019, audit inspection exposed. 

In another major irregularity, the Asian Development Bank assisted Colombo Suburban Railway Project had been implemented under the Ministry.

Provisions of Rs.1,000 million had been made for the execution of project activities, whereas Rs.700 million of such provisions had been transferred for a housing construction project.

This project inaugurated in January 2018 is required to be completed by the year 2020, only 30 per cent works of the preparation of detailed designs had been completed by the year 2018.