Min­is­ter un­der­scores need to make rail­way more com­pet­i­tive

The Myanmar Times - Weekend - - News - PYAE THET PHYO pyae­thet­[email protected]­times.com

TRANS­PORT Min­is­ter U Thant Sin Maung ad­mit­ted to the Amyotha Hlut­taw (Up­per House) last week that the pub­lic rail sys­tem is los­ing money be­cause of de­clin­ing rid­er­ship and un­der­scored the need to make rail trans­porta­tion more com­pet­i­tive.

He said it is the coun­try’s re­spon­si­bil­ity to en­sure a com­pet­i­tive and cost­ef­fec­tive trans­port sys­tem.

The Asian De­vel­op­ment Bank, which has been sup­port­ing the re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion of the coun­try’s trans­port in­fra­struc­ture, told the min­istry to fo­cus on rail lo­gis­tics.

U Thant Sin Maung said the gov­ern­ment has to come up with a pol­icy that will make the coun­try’s trans­porta­tion sys­tem more com­pet­i­tive and cost-ef­fec­tive, so that peo­ple will have a wider choice of trans­port sys­tems.

“Gov­ern­ment has to cre­ate a com­pet­i­tive mar­ket,” he said.

To bring com­pe­ti­tion to the trans­porta­tion sec­tor, time and ar­range­ments are needed to en­sure top qual­ity, cost-ef­fec­tive in­vest­ments, he added.

Myanma Rail­ways has to re­pay a debt of US$126 bil­lion.

“We are try­ing to at­tract the pri­vate sec­tor, but as the break-even point in this busi­ness is reached only after 30 years, it is dif­fi­cult to find in­vestors,” he said.

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