Fin Min Restores State Railway Co Subsidy

Fin Min Restores State Railway Co Subsidy

The finance ministry decided to restore the subsidy to troubled railway company BDZ which it suspended a month ago, it emerged after hours of talks between BDZ's management and officials of the transport and finance ministries.

The finance ministry suspended the railway operator's 14 million levs ($8.8 million/7.2 million euro) subsidy on July 1 over the company's failure to service a government-guaranteed debt to the World Bank. Last week the ministry called on BDZ's management to propose additional cost-cutting or revenue-boosting measures aimed at the company's financial recovery as a condition for getting state subsidy.

The package of proposed measures includes making theft of railway infrastructure a criminal offence, the state-run Bulgarian National Television reported.

A crisis centre that will try to rescue BDZ's passenger transport unit from bankruptcy is expected to be set up later this week. It will include representatives of the company's management, the transport minister and deputy ministers.

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