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Sunday, 17 September 2017

Gov’t disavows the dreaded “P” word when it comes to railways

Gov’t disavows the dreaded “P” word when it comes to railways: Egypt’s railways will not be privatized, Prime Minister Sherif Ismail said on Saturday, according to Al Masry Al Youm. The private sector’s involvement in the railways will be limited to “providing services.” He did not clarify what “services” meant — it could be anything from running specific lines to playing roles as contractors in the overhaul of the system. Ismail’s statement was likely designed to quell public distrust of privatization, particularly when it comes to a means of transport on which mns of citizens use to travel to and from the capital city several times a year. Wahid Qarqar, deputy chair of the House of Representatives’ Transportation Committee had said last month that MPs would introduce a bill that would allow the private sector to directly build, manage, and maintain railway infrastructure — a surprising development, considering the House’s aversion to privatization.

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