ISLAMABAD - The Government may put on hold the decision of firing Pakistan Railways (PR) staff for sometime, yet hike in fares from 15 to 25 per cent is likely by the end of this month (January). Owing to huge pressure in the shape of protests and strikes in major cities of the country, the Government in near future is not in the position to face political chaos by firing thousands of employees from Pakistan Railways, sources informed The Nation on Sunday. It is relevant to note here that Minister for Railway Ghulam Ahmed Bilour also came up with the statement to not fire/sack any employee from the department but he didnt utter much about increase in fares. Arguing on the increase in fares, sources said that the incumbent Government had almost no choice but to raise un-revised fares in the coming weeks. The situation has reached a level where increase is almost imperative. In order to avoid more loss to Railways already running into deficit, fares will be increased shortly, said sources. Mounting financial losses and non-availability of rail engines would also be the contributory factors in hike of fares. Taking the plea of not to fire employees from Railways, sources revealed, the Government would announce to increase fares. However, the matter regarding the hike was in negotiation with the Finance Ministry. Earlier, it was informed in the NA Standing committees meeting that 10 per cent increase in fares of passenger trains would generate Rs62 million per annum. Likewise, 15 per cent increase in fares of inter- city trains would generate Rs273 million per annum. The Railways if increases 20 per cent of fares of Express trains would get Rs1.253 billion, 25 per cent increase in fares of non- stop trains would result earning of Rs471 million. It may be mentioned here that the budget of Railways for the current fiscal year is Rs613 billion, but it has received only Rs21 billion during six months of the current fiscal year. .