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Ukraine's PM approves state railway company's development plan for 2017

Ukraine's PM approves state railway company's development plan for 2017Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman supports the development plan of public joint-stock company Ukrzaliznytsia for 2017 presented by Ukrzaliznytsia Board Chairman Wojciech Balczun at a government meeting on Wednesday.

"It was not in vain that I had invited the Ukrzaliznytsia head today. The country can see the real state of affairs in the company that is fated to be a success and a billionaire, but it is chronically mantled with corruption, ineffectiveness and theft. It was pushed over the edge," the prime minister said.

Groysman said that today a challenge before the new managers is serious, as internal sabotage and other obstacles hinder making quick and efficient decisions.

Read also: Ukraine and Moldova to build railway section to Romania

"We are to ensure support of initiatives that would help the company to become transparent and open. What I have seen in the plan – modernization, purchase of carriages, changes to the fuel procurement system – should permit making the company a champion. We need to toughen management and permit them to develop normally, quickly change the supervisory board and introduce independent and professional people there," he said.

"I am ready to support the initiatives to implement this plan. I am ready to destroy any mafia that could approach to Ukrzaliznytsia," he said.

Read also: Ukrzaliznytsia avoided paying about UAH 2 billion taxes

Balczun at the government meeting on Wednesday, November 2, said that in 2017 Ukrzaliznytsia intends to sharply increase investment in the repair of carriages and locomotives aimed to restore the company's potential as the only largest carrier in Ukraine.

"Our investment plan for next year is over UAH 26 billion. This is large growth compared to 2016. We would build 3,000 carriages at our bases, buy 3,600 carriages using the credit line of the EBRD [European Bank for Reconstruction and Development] and repair 34,000 carriages," he said.

He also said that Ukrzaliznytsia seeks to implement a large project to modernise passenger carriages.

"Next year we would carry out deep modernization of 200 passenger cars and buy six rail buses. We plan to repair 360 locomotives and we will buy, not repair, 15 additional locomotives using the crediting line from KfW," he said.
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