Railways seeks bailout as Covid-19 rages

By Doan Loan   June 23, 2021 | 12:46 am PT
Railways seeks bailout as Covid-19 rages
Passengers board a train in Hanoi in June 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy.
Vietnam Railways (VNR) is seeking a VND800 billion ($34.82 million) loan to fund operations amid plummeting demand for its services because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The state-owned company has requested the government for the funds, saying that if the pandemic impacts persist until the next year, it would run out of money to pay staff salaries.

It is, therefore, proposing that the government gives it an "emergency" loan and provide support for its 13,000 employees, who are either suspended or working part-time.

It is also proposing that over 6,000 employees are prioritized for vaccination; and that infrastructure fees and land fees are lowered or scrapped for the projects it is implementing.

Last month, the company suspended 393 trains, and there were times when just one pair of trains was used for the North-South route.

The company’s revenues in the first five months fell 19 percent year-on-year to VND1.11 trillion and 40 percent from 2019, when the pandemic was yet to hit the country. It posted a loss of over VND1.32 trillion last year.

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