• 2020 May 14

    RF Transport Minister Yevgeny Ditrikh

    Speech at transport sector development meeting chaired by Vladimir Putin

    Methodical efforts of the transport industry throughout the previous years used to ensure reliable, comfortable and safe transportation of passengers and cargo.

    Just like other industries, transport has been affected by the pandemic. Transport has been traditionally accounting for about 5% of the country’s GDP, or, including the multiplicative effect on other sectors, up to 7% of GDP.

    The demand for transport services has considerably decreased. While the first quarter saw a decrease of cargo and passenger turnover at some 3-4%, the situation has changed drastically in April when passenger turnover on all types of transport plunged 70 to 95 percent.

    Loading on the networks of Russian Railways fell by 11% in April. The sectors of metal and oil, the mainstays of Russian Railways, saw a 20-pct reduction of loading, year-on-year. Cargo transportation by trucks in the country dropped by 29% in March-April. Carto turnover on inland water transport fell by 14%.

    Experts and transport companies expect the second quarter to be anything but simple for the transport industry.

    What measures are undertaken today? The health of passengers and transport employees is a priority today. A special center established by the Ministry of Transport coordinates all the activities and monitors prevention of infection spreading via transport. This work is coordinated together with Rospotrebnadzor (Federal Service for Supervision of Consumer Rights Protection and Human Welfare – Ed.)…

    Essential support measures have been undertaken in the industry. The list of sectors most affected by the coronavirus has been approved. Air transportation, airports and road transport are on the top of the list.

    You have accurately described the situation in the segment of passenger transportation. Apart from the above mentioned transport blocks, the desperate situation expanded on companies offering commuter and long-distance services as well as IWW shipping companies. We proposed to include them into the list of most affected sectors. The decision is under consideration.

    You mentioned backbone companies.  The list of systemically important companies approved by the Government Commission for Russian Economy Support currently numbers 162 companies of the transport sector. Support measures are being developed for them.

    While the list was being drafted, most of companies included into it were asking for subsidies to cover the interest rates under loan agreements, both new ones and already signed. That would ease the burden on the industry. I think the colleagues will speak separately about that today.

    The Government has approved the rules for subsidizing small and medium-sized business entities this year…

    Automatic remote regime has been approved for all possible extension of authorization documents, inspections in the transport sector have been minimized…

    Some more words about support of transport companies. The key problem mentioned in the context of all transport blocks is current lease payments… Leasing expenses are actually typical only for transport and they are not covered by comprehensive measures. I would like to outline three points in this respect...

    Leasing payments of sea and river cruise companies will total RUB 320 million this year. I ask you to support federal allocations for them ...

    The Ministry of Transport and Russian Railways have jointly developed and approved the list of capital construction facilities for the Eastern Polygon, BAM and Transsib to ensure throughput capacity of at least 180 million tonnes by 2024 and activities on expansion of Mezhdurechensk-Taishet sector in 2021…

    For implementation of all works as scheduled I ask you to support introduction of amendments into the project charter in the part of the financing schedule through a transfer of RUB 30.5 billion earmarked by NWF from 2021 to 2020. That is necessary to make all financing by NWF total RUB 60.5 billion this year. We have developed this proposal together with the Ministry of Finance which supported us…

    One more measure of support that is aimed at the future and that could be used for the development is subsidies for alignment of tariffs for transit container transportation. In fact, what we need to take over the cargo to our country and to load our transport companies is just the difference in tariff which is offered by our neighbors, other countries transited by the cargo today. Basic routs for us link Europe and APR countries. Subsidizing is needed to increase the share of high paying freight that will be attracted to Russia’s transport networks on a permanent basis. Taking into consideration the forecasted container transit that will require about RUB 1 billion. I would like to ask for your support of this anti-crisis measure. We have considered it together with the Ministry of Finance and we look into financing it by resources foreseen for implementation of national projects…

    It is domestic tourism that can serve as an effective economic stimulus when the constraints are lifted. I am g grateful for you instructions to this end. We would like to include measure promoting the recovery of domestic tourism into the national economic recovery plan. In our opinion, that could be a real driver for transport to resume normal operation...