Ukrzaliznytsia to need 2-3 years for unbundling – board's acting head
The reform on the division of Ukrzaliznytsia into cargo and passenger directions and its unbundling has now been completed by about a quarter and it will take at least another two to three years to end, acting Head of the company's board Ivan Yuryk has said.
"Measured from zero to 100%, then I would estimate that we are now somewhere at the level of 20% to 25%. Ukrzaliznytsia should be divided into four operators: passenger traffic is the central budget and local budgets, infrastructure is permanent state-owned property, freight transportation is a liberalized market, and production, locomotive and carriage factories are a service both for Ukrzaliznytsia and for future private operators," he told Interfax-Ukraine.
According to Yuryk, this process has been going on recently, "rather, due to the inertia inherent in the past."
"In addition, some things were done incorrectly. Particularly, the registration of individual branches was carried out without the necessary corporate approval of the supervisory board, this is legally wrong. This creates potential risks for business in the future," the head of the company said.
According to him, the next two or three years will be a transitional period for the company.
"We have to do our homework, make a prototype of Ukrzaliznytsia in the part of the holding with four delimited operators, each of which will have a separate balance of assets and liabilities in order to move to a new market after unbundling. Moreover, in my opinion, such a transition needs two years, if we will work very quickly," Yuryk said.
He also called the adoption of the principal law on railway transport and the new market in parliament as a necessary condition. According to the head of Ukrzaliznytsia, quite constructive work is now underway with the transport committee, and it is hoped that the law will be adopted by the end of 2021.
Yuryk said the law is largely a framework, and a significant part of the details of relationships in the new market will be determined at the level of bylaws after its adoption, in particular, the PSO regulation for passenger transportation and the methodology for calculating the tariff for access to the track network.