Amended law must make way for railway sector growth: NA Chair

Wednesday, 2017-03-15 09:59:56
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NDO - National Assembly (NA) Chair, Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan has stated that amendments to the Law on Railway must be able to create breakthrough policies to stimulate the faltering railway sector.

The parliamentary speaker voiced her opinion on March 15 at a meeting of the NA Standing Committee.

She noted that railways must become a major form of transport to take advantage of Vietnam’s north to south geography.

Many members of the standing committee agreed that the amended law should include clear and detailed provisions to help bring the struggling railway sector out of its current backward condition.

Chairman of the Committee for Science, Technology and the Environment Phan Xuan Dung said that article 5 of the amended law states that the government encourages and prioritises railway development.

But Chairman of the Committee for Ethnic Affairs Ha Ngoc Chien said that the wording is too general while aggressive policies are needed to address the sector’s weaknesses compared with other modes of transport and with countries in the region.

In 2015 only 1.6% of transport infrastructure was earmarked for the railway sector while roads accounted for more than 92%, said NA Deputy Chairman Phung Quoc Hien.

He stressed that a balanced investment structure is needed to create a comprehensive connection between the four modes of transport: rail, road, air and waterways.

Do Ba Ty, another deputy chairman, said investment preference is necessary but review is also needed to avoid conflicts with other laws such as those on investment and banking.