Last updated at: (Beijing Time) Monday, February 23, 2004

Railways to have reforms in joint-stock system

The Chinese Railways Ministry will carry out joint-stock pilot projects, so as to speed up the railways' system reforms. Meanwhile, a peak of railways construction is also planned.


Reform in pipeline
The Chinese Railways Ministry will carry out joint-stock pilot projects, so as to speed up the railways' system reforms, said Chinese Railways Minister Liu Zhijun here Sunday.

He said China's railways departments will actively seek domestic and overseas investors, set up standardized joint-stock companies and collect capitals from the society in forms of joint-stocks, so as to explore new ways of railways construction and administration.

As the railway industry is one of the few monopoly industries in China, its reform has always been a focus of public attention at home and abroad. China's railway departments are in their way to explore multi-channel financing systems in railway construction, Liu said.

He said this year China will further deepen reforms in professional transportation companies, and balance the economic relations between various sectors, so as to realize a sustainable and fast development of the railway transportation.

He also noted that the Chinese Railways Ministry will try out making assessments of business achievements of 14 railways bureaus and 3 professional transportation companies.

He said in the new year the railways departments of the whole country will speed up basic reforms, and make efforts to promote the reforms of investment and financing systems.

A peak of railways construction
China is to see another peak period of railway construction in the coming years. China's railway length is expected to extend from 72,000 kilometers to 100,000 kilometers by 2020 and the technical equipment will near international level, said Liu.

The investment in railway will increase greatly in 2004, the first year of China's railway construction blueprint, said Liu.

China will also launch a series of new railway projects this year, and much reconstruction work will be carried out to improve the transportation efficiency, Liu annouced.

The medium-term and long-term goal of railway construction was described in a blueprint on China's railway network, which was passed on Jan. 7 at a meeting held by the State Council.

Railway income reaches 148.34 billion yuan in 2003
China's railway transportation income has reached 148.34 billion yuan (19.94 billion US dollars) in 2003, an increase of 3.2 billion yuan over the previous year.

The profit of the railway transportation in 2003 is expected to reach 500 million yuan, said Liu Zhijun here Sunday on a working conference.

Liu said the railways witnessed a total number of 970 million passengers in 2003, 940 million of whom are transported by national railways. The figure is down 80 million compared with theprevious year.

In 2003, the railway tickets income totaled 47.66 billion yuan,down 4.69 billion yuan compared with the expected figure and an decrease of 2.01 billion yuan over the previous year, he said.

Targets for 2004
Liu said that Chinese Railways Ministry has set targets of railway transportation for 2004, which is to transport 1.08 billion passengers, 1.04 billion of which are transported by national railways; to realize a volume of railway freight of 2.29 billion tons; and to have a total transportation income of 162.8 billion, with profits of 2.5 billion yuan.

He said relevant railways departments will make efforts to upgrade railway services, strictly control the expenditure, and adjust the layout of transportation productivity, so as to realizethese targets.


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