Parliament’s Transportation Committee has approved an agreement for General Electric (GE) to supply 100 locomotives and maintain 81 locomotives at a cost of $575m
The committee is waiting for the cabinet to complete its draft of an amendment to Law No. 152 of 1980, related to the establishment and operation of railways.
MP Mohammad Badawi Desouki said that the draft will amend the current law regulating the railway authority, which does not allow the private sector to operate on existing lines, or establish new ones.
He explained that the target of the amendment aims to allow entry of the private sector to developing this utility in the coming period, in light of the deterioration of railway facilities during the past 40 years.
The committee had previously approved the agreement with GE to supply 100 locomotives and maintain 81 locomotives at a cost of $575m in the coming period.
A source within the Ministry of Transport said that there is an inclination to raise ticket prices for trains’ second and third class, as the first class prices were already increased recently.
The losses of the Egyptian National Railways, according to Desouki, amounts to EGP 40bn, including EGP 5bn in the past year alone.
The Planning and Budget Committee of Parliament has sent a request to Parliament Speaker Ali Abdel Aal to form a fact-finding committee to examine the financial irregularities in three bodies, including the Egyptian National Railways.
Under the jurisdiction of the Egyptian National Railways are lands of 190m sqm, but, in reality, it only owns 45 million sqm, according to the official.
Desouki noted that the bill that will allow entry of the private sector will allow the Egyptian National Railways to task development to international companies.
He added that management may be assigned to foreign companies for periods of up to 30 years, at most, and regulations and controls will be in place in case the period is extended.