BEIJING Aug 11 China will allow railway firms
to generate more income from land development and from building
new transport hubs, the government said on Monday, in the latest
move to step up financing support for the debt-laden sector.
The railway sector is burdened by mounting debt due to
state-led investments in the past, prompting the government to
reform the financing model by attracting private investment.
Under guidance issued by the cabinet, the government will
"support railway transport firms to revitalise the use of
existing construction land through independent development,
transfer, lease or other means".
The government will encourage railway firms to participate
in building integrated transport hubs that connect railway
stations with public buses and taxis, according to a statement
published on the central government's website, www.gov.cn.
The move will help improve railway firms' "fundraising
ability and revenues", it added.
In April, the government said it would create a fund worth
200 billion yuan to 300 billion yuan ($32-$48 billion) each
year, as part of policy measures to support the slowing economy.
That was part of the government's "targeted" stimulus
measures that included quickening construction of railways and
public housing projects to support the economy.
China Railway Corp, the national railway operator, has said
it would raise its annual investment by 20 billion yuan to 720
billion yuan in 2014 to increase the number of lines it plans to
China Railways Corp has inherited 2.84 trillion yuan worth
of debt from its predecessor - the Ministry of Railways, much of
it denominated in construction bonds.
(Reporting by Kevin Yao; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)