BUSINESS

Minister Nazare deems vital CFR Marfa debt compensation scheme

The passage is vital of a compensation scheme for the debts owed by rail freight operator CFR Marfa given the company turned viable last year and would have been back in the black unless burdened by past arrears, Mediafax quoted Transport and Infrastructure Minister Alexandru Nazare as saying.Mr. Nazare met with Joaquin Almunia, Vice-president of the European Commission and Competition Commissioner, in Brussels Friday, with the privatization of CFR Marfa being one of the topics discussed. “Only a substantial capital injection resulting from the privatization of the majority stake of 51 pc could make CFR Marf_ into a profitable company,” said the Transport minister, who added that the assigning proceedings will have been concluded by late April for the privatization consultancy contract. The Transport minister also said that nine expressions of interests have so far been tendered, and the majority stake sale process will have been finalised by year’s end.According to CFR Marfa preliminary financial data contained in the 2012 draft budget, the rail freight operator last year sustained losses equal to 133.5m RON, 67.9 pc more than the 79.5 M RON revenue and spending budget ceiling passed by government.Year 2007 was the last when CFR Marfa posted a profit, 6.12 M RON, down 85.7% year on year, according to Finance Ministry data. The company closed last year 1.25 bln RON in the red, 200 M RON less than in 2010, and estimates for this year speak of a 4% rise, to 1.3 bln RON.Transport Minister Alexandru Nazare also met in Brussels Friday with Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for Regional Policy, to whom he advanced the proposal for snow-clearing equipment purchases to be sustained from the Sectoral Operational Transport. Nazare also presented Commissioner Hahn with a report over the negative effects on the Romanian economy of the massive snowfalls in the past couple of weeks. The two officials also discussed the absorption of EU infrastructure funds allocated via the Sectoral Operational Program Transport 2007-2013.The Transport Ministry benefits from funds worth 5.7 bln euro for the construction and upgrading of the transport infrastructure.trans. ministry comp monthly average pay rises by 500 RONThe median salary earned by employees with the companies subordinated to the Transport Ministry will increase by up to 500 RON against their year-on-year equivalent, adding to which are bonuses adding up to an additional 500 RON, despite the workforce not going to be trimmed down compared to last year’s figures, and the profit projections being lower year on year.  Also, for the majority of those companies, director tenure contract value stays put at a hefty 80,000 RON, the companies’ 2012 draft budgets also show.Among those companies: the National Company of Motorways and National Roads, the Romanian Automotive Registry, CFR Marfa, Telecomunicatii CFR, Tarom, the Romanian Civil Aeronautic Authority, the Romanian Administration of Navigable Channels and Metrorex, all of which envisage substantial rises in median monthly pay for 2012.

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