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Reports on tollway debts to prompt reform

(China Daily)

08:26, October 18, 2011

Vehicles wait at the Langdong Tollgate on the Guilin-Beihai Highway in Nanning, capital of the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, earlier this month. Huang Xiaobang / Xinhua

BEIJING - Traffic authorities in at least 16 provinces have released financial reports on their tollways, with most showing the road ways are heavily in debt.

As part of a year-long campaign targeting illegal toll collections which have led to many complaints by the public, 31 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions on the Chinese mainland were asked to investigate toll roads and make the findings public.

The future of toll roads in China has been hotly debated in recent years and Zhang Zhuting, a member of the Ministry of Transport's legal consulting committee, said the new information will help the central government formulate policies.

On Monday, reports released by the 16 provincial authorities indicated they owe a total of 1,268 billion yuan ($199 billion) for construction of the toll roads, but they earned only 170 billion yuan from toll collections last year.

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