HCMC – Vietnam Railway Corporation (VNR) has proposed borrowing preferential loans worth VND800 billion to deal with the difficulties caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
A VNR leader on June 23 said that the proposal had been sent to the Commission for the Management of State Capital at Enterprises, news site VnExpress reported.
If the pandemic lasts until next year, VNR might lose all of its equity and would not be able to pay employees’ salaries. Therefore, besides the VND800-billion preferential loans, VNR suggested support policies for its 13,000 staff.
The corporation also proposed reducing the railway infrastructure use fees this year and in the following years and reducing or exempting the land use fees for railway transportation firms this year and extending the fee payment deadlines.
Moreover, it expected over 6,000 employees of the railway sector–at high risk of being infected with the coronavirus–to be vaccinated against Covid-19.
Over the past five months, VNR’s revenue plunged. During the Lunar New Year, Reunification Day and International Labor Day, passengers returned more than 11,000 train tickets worth nearly VND4 billion.
In May, 393 trains were suspended. In some periods, only two trains on the Hanoi-HCMC route were operational, while all trains to localities were suspended.
Over the past five months, the railway sector earned more than VND1.1 trillion in revenue, equal to 81% of the figure in the same period last year and 60% of the figure in the period in 2019, when the Covid-19 pandemic had yet to break out.
The number of passengers was equal to 64% of that in the same period last year. Cargo transport was a bright spot of the sector as the cargo volume transported by trains increased 26% to 2.4 million tons and the revenue from the service rose 21% to VND713 billion.
In 2020, VNR incurred losses of more than VND1.3 trillion.
At present, nearly 1,200 employees of VNR have their employment contracts suspended and 136 others have taken unpaid leave.