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Deadlock over SMRT's shift to new rail financing framework

Published on Jul 11, 2014 11:24 PM
 
MRT train approaching Ang Mo Kio Station. Negotiations for SMRT to shift to the new rail financing model have hit a deadlock, with the rail operator and the Land Transport Authority (LTA) nowhere close to an agreement. -- PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Negotiations for SMRT to shift to the new rail financing model have hit a deadlock, with the rail operator and the Land Transport Authority (LTA) nowhere close to an agreement.

In a written response to a question by non-constituency MP Gerald Giam on Monday, Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew said "there remains a wide gap between SMRT's expectations and LTA's position".

On Friday, an LTA spokesman told The Straits Times it took into account not only the value of the existing assets SMRT owns, but also its financial obligations under its existing rail licences. The spokesman estimated that SMRT's total obligations are about $2 billion between 2014 and 2019.

She added that discussions between SMRT and LTA on the transition to the new financing framework are confidential, and details of SMRT's proposal cannot be disclosed. As such, it is unclear how SMRT's $2 billion in obligations impacts its proposal.

 
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