Private funds introduced to break railway monopoly

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The introduction of private funds into railway construction and operations will help break monopoly in the industry, said Wang Feng, vice minister of the State Commission Office for Public Sector Reform (SCOPSR), at a press conference on March 13, 2013.


Wang Feng, vice minister of the State Commission Office for Public Sector Reform (SCOPSR), holds a press conference during the First Session of the 12th National People's Congress (NPC) on March 11, 2013. [Xinhua]

The Ministry of Railways, long in the center of controversy for being both railway service provider and watchdog, will be dissolved into administrative and commercial arms, according to a government restructuring plan submitted to the National People's Congress (NPC) Sunday.

The introduction of private funds will bring in competition. A more diversified investment and operation structure will instill vitality to the railways industry, Wang said on the sidelines of the First Session of the 12th NPC.

According to the restructuring plan, the government will continue to support the railway construction, accelerate the reforms in railway investment, financing and pricing, and establish a sound transport subsidy system, because the railway has undertaken many public functions and its development is at an important period.

The dispatch and command of railways must be unified and the construction of the overall network must be under integrated planning, Wang said at the press conference.

The proposed state railways administration, to be supervised by the Ministry of Transport, will fulfill the existing Railways Ministry's administrative functions.

The proposed China railway corporation will carry out the existing Railways Ministry's commercial functions, responsible for management, railway construction and railway safety.

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