21:46 / 25.09.2023

Shavkat Mirziyoyev criticizes corruption in ticket sales in railway sector, speaks about public dissatisfaction with conditions in carriages and service

The President drew attention to the main issues that need to be resolved in the railway sector.

Photo: Presidential press service

A meeting was held in the presence of Shavkat Mirziyoev on the main issues that should be resolved in the railway sector.

It is noted that due to the situation in the international arena, the costs of transport and logistics have increased several times. For countries like Uzbekistan, which do not have direct access to the world’s oceans, the most convenient and cheap transport is the railway. However, now only 5% of the products in the domestic market and 45% in the export are transported by railway. That is, the railway company cannot compete with the transportation of goods by car.

At the meeting, it was noted that the pace of reforms in the railway sector lags behind the reforms implemented in all sectors of the economy, and it is time to implement fundamental changes in this sector as well.

In particular, two months ago, a new leader was appointed to the industry. In the system, about 30 old-fashioned, non-initiative leaders have been replaced. Inefficient staff were terminated.

According to the President’s order, 191 railway stations were visited, the actual situation was analyzed, and more than 500 businessmen were met. As a result of these activities, the main problems to be solved in the field were identified and their solutions were determined.

In particular, the profitability of some railway enterprises is low, part of the wagon fleet needs to be repaired and renewed, the necessary opportunities for private sector participation in the sector have not been created, our people complain about corruption in ticket sales, they are dissatisfied with conditions in wagons and service. All this indicates the need to reform the sector.

The head of state drew attention to the fact that the income of some railway stations does not cover their expenses.

For example, there are both joint-stock and private logistics companies around the “Nazarbek” station. “Yuksaroy” enterprise belonging to Uzbekistan Railways earned 277 million soums per year from 1 hectare of land, while private enterprises receive more than 1 billion soums.

In this regard, the importance of attracting and investing the private sector in railway stations was shown.

At the meeting, it was pointed out that traffic at the stations is high due to the arrival of a large number of imported wagons in the capital and regional centers. In this regard, it was noted that it is necessary to study the possibility of moving railway cargo stations outside the cities. This will reduce truck traffic in cities, and bring additional investment to districts.

It was also noted that digitization in the industry is not at a satisfactory level. In particular, in the seven months of this year, only 8% of cargo transportation services were processed electronically, 57% of passenger tickets were sold through ticket offices.

In addition, access to central stations is limited. Parking spaces are far from train stations. Trade and service services are not properly established at the stations.

In order to prevent train collisions, it was pointed out the need to monitor all road and railway crossings, install road signs, barriers and cameras.

Based on these problems, the head of state defined the priority tasks facing the industry.

Proposals to turn Uzbekistan Railways into a holding and introduce modern management in the system, including separating infrastructure, freight wagons and logistics, passenger transport services, and station management into separate enterprises, were approved.

The task of introducing credit and compensation allocation mechanisms for the renewal of the fleet of wagons was set.

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