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VNR seeks PM’s help over slow allocation of infrastructure maintenance fund
The Saigon Times
Friday,  Apr 16, 2021,07:38 (GMT+7)

VNR seeks PM’s help over slow allocation of infrastructure maintenance fund

The Saigon Times

An employee pushes a barrier to prevent people from crossing the railway tracks to allow a train to pass. VNR has sought the PM’s help over the slow allocation of the infrastructure maintenance fund - PHOTO: DTO

HCMC - Vietnam Railway Corporation (VNR) has written to the prime minister seeking help over the slow allocation of the infrastructure maintenance fund, due to which it may find it hard to maintain its operations until the end of this month.

At present, VNR is managing, operating and taking responsibility for maintaining more than 3,100 kilometers of railways. However, under the Ministry of Transport’s plan to manage and use railway infrastructure, many intermediates and administrative procedures remain in place, the local media reported.

The ministry proposed handing over the railway infrastructure maintenance fund to the Vietnam Railway Authority, instead of handing it over directly to VNR.

According to VNR, the authority currently has only more than 100 employees. If the maintenance fund is assigned to the authority, the fund allocation may be slower, hindering the maintenance work.

In addition, the unity of railway infrastructure management and maintenance and the safety of trains will be at risk, leading to the stagnancy of railway transport activities, VNR Chairman Vu Anh Minh said.

As planned, VND2.8 trillion a year will be allocated for the maintenance of railway infrastructure. However, VNR has yet to receive the funds. Its 20 subsidiaries in charge of maintaining railway infrastructure have not paid their employees’ salaries for many months and have no money to buy maintenance materials.

The livelihood of nearly 25,000 laborers of VNR are being affected and many of them may quit their jobs.

Regarding the Ministry of Transport’s proposal, representatives of all ministries and agencies, except for the Ministry of Transport, agreed to hand over the maintenance fund to VNR, according to the Ministry of Justice.

This is not the first time that VNR has sought the prime minister’s help over the slow allocation of the infrastructure maintenance fund. In February last year, a VNR leader said due to the lack of funds, it failed to pay the salaries for more than 11,300 employees, posing a high risk of the suspension of the operation of its trains.

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