RAILWAYS WANT EIGHTFOLD HIGHER BUDGET FOR 2005
The Bulgarian State railways (BDZ) are financially stable, Deputy Transport Minister Aneliya Krushkova said during the week in front of representatives of the Confederation of Independent Trade Unions in Bulgaria (CITUB) and of the Podkrepa labour Confederation. At the same meeting the Director of the national company Railway Infrastructure, Dimiter Daidarov, said he would ask for an almost eightfold increase of the budget fro 2005, or a total of BGN230MN. We got only BGN30MN of the demanded BGN120MN for 2004, he complained. Ms Krushkova, however, maintained the optimistic tone of the conversation. In her words, the BDZ cut down losses for the first half of 2004 by BGN11MN as compared to the same period of last year. The syndicates tabled the question about the overdue wages to BDZ workers. According to them, the company is indebted to its employees by some BGN15MN. Although the sanitary minimum of necessary personnel has already been reached, layoffs continue, CIRUB's Deputy Chairman Nikolay Nenkov added. As a reply BDZ's chiefs promised to stop the layoffs and to effect all overdue payments to the employees by the end of next week. The railways' Finance Manager Mihail Dragiev presented a strategy for the development of BDZ EAD in the 2004-2012 period. It projects that the company should become a holding in which passenger and cargo transportation would be separated in different structures. Their separation in terms of accounting began back in 2003 and their juristic separation started in the beginning of 2004. The managerial team projects that the new holding structure should begin operations next year.