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Beijing to standardize airport freeway charge
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The Beijing municipal government will take measures to standardize unreasonable charge system of the airport freeway, which is now under the management of a listed company.

The move was revealed by Pan Xiaojun, head of fixed asset investment audit department of National Audit Office, at a press conference on Wednesday.

The operational right of Beijing airport freeway now belongs to a company listed in the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, and was transferred to the company with a 30-year period in 1996, three years after the freeway opened.

By the end of 2005, the toll collection had amounted to 3.2 billion yuan, with an estimate of another 9 billion yuan during the remaining toll collection period.

Pan Xiaojun said such a charge system is unreasonable. The operation right transfer actually aims at financing through the charge to cover the bank loan or other expenditures used in the construction.

Therefore, the Beijing municipal government will take measures to gradually regulate it.

Since the state had no mature regulations on operation right transfer of public roads in 1996, the operation of the airport freeway does not violate the state's laws and regulations.

The Beijing Traffic Management Bureau constructed the freeway using a total investment of 1.165 billion yuan, including financial fund as well as a bank loan of 765 million yuan.

(CRI February 29, 2007)

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