bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Saturday 18.01.2020 | Name days: Antis, Antons
LatviaLatvia

Rīgas satiksme’s debts come close to 300 million; Ušakovs says company is doing well

FaceBook
Twitter
Draugiem
print
(No Ratings Yet)

Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RURiga City Council has voted in favour of allocating an additional grant of EUR 22 million to Rīgas satiksme. This means this year the company has cost the city EUR 123 million, reminds Nekā personīga.

The programme also adds that five years ago the company had signed contracts for the purchase of 175 buses and 125 trolleybuses. So far, however, less than half of the ordered vehicles have been supplied. «At the same time, RS has ordered 20 low-floor trams. To fulfil the plan, the company has borrower around a hundred million euros. The company’s debts will likely exceed EUR 300 million,» Nekā personīga reports.

The programme notes that on top of wages and fuel, the company will have to pay more to banks. Nevertheless, although the self-cost of trips will steadily increase in future years, Riga Mayor Nils Ušakovs will not increase ticket prices. Prices will be subsidized from Riga’s budget.

The programme stresses that RS concluded 2017 with long-term debts of around EUR 202 million. «The law makes it a duty for RS to publish accounts for each quarter. The debt was EUR 255 million in the Q1 account. The half-year’s results should have been published in August, but this was never done.»

NP also adds that active replacement of old vehicles commenced in 2013, when the company signed contracts for procurement of 125 trolleybuses. Another 175 trolleybuses were ordered a year later. It was planned to introduce them gradually over a course of five years. Now the five-year term is coming to an end. Over the course of one and a half years, RS will have to purchase more than 80 buses and 50 trolleybuses.

«In 2016, the company procured another 20 low-floor trams for EUR 62 million. The trolleybus contract has been reduced by 25 units. Suppliers will receive the full fee once their vehicles start carrying passengers in Riga. To pay for all the new vehicles, RS will have to borrow more than EUR 100 million,» the programme reports.

In a conversation with the programme, RS Administrative Resource Office director Elīna Epalte-Drulle said the following in regards to debts and unpublished financial account: «We have to enhance our financial account. The final document will reflect this data. (NP: No way to find out now?) Currently we do not have estimates, because we prepare each account once we have all the information. Currently we have none. (NP: But shouldn’t that financial account be ready by now?) The final preparations still continue. (NP: Digits are so bad it is better left undisclosed?) Well, it won’t be horrible, this is what I mean. We plan everything systematically so that there are no surprises. We plan the digits and we plan this year’s payments. (NP: Then what is the digit?) It exceeds 200 million. As you can see, annual digits, as I’ve mentioned, will grow from 20 to 30 million. Still, the jump will not be enormous.»

Data from Lursoft shows that RS debt may range from 270 to 280 million euros. The debt is gradually increasing, because RS gradually starts using the buses brought to Riga some odd 70 years ago, NP adds. Epalte-Drulle: «Next year, when the next supplies are expected to arrive, we plan to perform the next payments once vehicles have been commissioned. (NP: Then the amount will reach those 300 million. The question is will it happen this year or the next?) Yes, this is why I cannot mention any specific amounts, because it depends on supplies. At some point we plan to increase the volume of commitments.»

Although the debt increase of at least EUR 80 million should impact on the company’s regular expenses, Epalte-Drulle denies this. «Payment schedules are made in a way that allows for an increase, but not as major’ as the ones for wages or fuel.»

The programme continues, saying that with the increase of wages, fuel and insurance costs RS requested additional grants from Riga City Council this year already. «EUR 4,750,000 is needed to cover discount tickets. EUR 17.7 million is the difference between the expected self-cost and actual costs. This year’s grant provided to the company reaches EUR 123 million,» Nekā personīga reports.

In a conversation with Nekā personīga, Riga Mayor Nils Ušakovs said everything is fine with RS: «Aside from the social function, a no less important function is mobility, when people use Riga’s public transports. For people to use the social functions and RS’ public transports, it is necessary for the company to develop. All trolleybuses will be modernized by 2020. This also applies to all buses and half of the active trams. The company is doing well.»

To reduce transport costs, the city council may reduce discounts, passenger comfort level or increase ticket prices. But the municipality will not do this, the programme reports. Ušakovs commented on prices the following way: «On one hand, it is important for us to ensure residents and guests use Riga’s public transports. On the other hand, it is important for the tariff to be as close to the self-cost as possible. 1.15 is below its self-cost. Raising the tariff would be wrong because it would not contribute to use public transport services. With that, we see no logical reason to increase tariffs in the foreseeable future.»


Leave a reply

FKTK lists exceptions in which banks are allowed to service Aivars Lembergs

Latvian Finance and Capital Market Commission has listed cases in which Latvia’s finance market participants will be allowed to service Aivars Lembergs, who is subjected to US OFAC sanctions and accused of serious crimes, and three organizations associated with him – Ventspils Development Agency, Business Development Association and Latvian Transit Business Association.

Appropriate jobs promised for laid-off LDz workers

Latvian State Employment Agency promises to find appropriate jobs for laid-off Latvian Railway workers. If need be, those people will be provided the opportunity for re-qualification, raise their qualification or train for a new profession, as confirmed by the agency’s representative Signe Bierande.

Bordāns selects potential candidates to lead the Supreme Court and Prosecutor General’s office

I can see people who could take the reins over the Office of the Prosecutor General and the Supreme Court and change their work standards, Latvian Justice Minister Jānis Bordāns told TV3 programme 900 seconds when asked about any potential candidates to lead those institutions.

Ukrainian Prime Minister ready quit after leaked voice recording

Ukrainian head of government Oleksiy Honcharuk has offered to resign following the circulation of an audio recording, where criticism of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and his knowledge in economy is voiced.

Inflation in Latvia reportedly higher than Europe’s and Eurozone’s in December

In December 2019 inflation in Latvia was higher than the average in the European Union and Eurozone, according to information published by Eurostat on Friday, 17 January.

Estonian population growth continues in 2019 due to immigration

Estonia has registered in 2019 population growth for the fifth consecutive year and it can be explained with immigration not with natural growth, according to preliminary data released by Statistics Estonia.

BNN investigation | Raunas street property: quiet assistant with a «secret wallet» for Lembergs

There are suspicions that Aivars Lembergs, subjected to international sanctions, has sold real estate located on Raunas Street 27 in Riga to his sister «on paper only». This may have been done to avoid confiscation of properties in the event of a guilty verdict or a possible arrest over the real estate property. However, it is possible Lembergs maintains full control over this real estate property and, most likely, the property is used to fatten his wallet on a regular basis.

Audit: majority of Latvian housing stock has degraded to a state of a slum

Since the denationalization effective access to housing security in Latvia does not exist and most of the housing stock has degraded up to a state of a slum, as concluded by the Latvian State Audit.

Prime minister affirms possibility of carrying oil supplies for Belarus through Latvia

During his meeting with Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko on Thursday, 16 January, Latvian Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš affirmed that oil supplies for Belarus may be possible using Latvia’s ports.

Rain in Australia provides relief to continuing fight against bushfires

In eastern Australia, which has been suffering in prolonged and disastrous bushfires, heavy rain has been falling for the past 24 hours.

Weather to remain warm in Latvia at week’s end

At the end of the week the sky in Latvia will become clear and the sun will shine. No precipitation is expected. However, a low atmospheric pressure area will approach the country from the west during weekends, as reported by Latvian Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre.

GKR helps overthrow Riga’s vice-mayors and put an end to ruling coalition

Riga City Council vice-chairperson Anna Vladova and deputy Druvis Kleins lost their respective posts at an extraordinary meeting on Thursday, 16 January. This happened because multiple deputies from Honour to Serve Riga voted together with the opposition in favour of dismissing them.

Latvian Railway plans to lay off 1 500 employees

Latvian Railway plans to terminate labour relations with approximately 1 500 employees before the end of 2020, as reported by the company’s representative Ella Pētermane.

Russian State Duma approves Putin’s new Prime Minister

The Russian State Duma has approved on Thursday, January 16, the candidacy of the country’s next Prime Minister appointed by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Ventspils opposition invites Pūce to act to prevent US sanctions from spreading to city council

Environment Protection and Regional Development Ministry and especially Juris Pūce have to act to resolve the current state of Ventsils City Council. It should be dismissed, as the municipal government does not have moral, ethical or legal foundation to continue managing and implementing the criminal management’s policy, according to Ventspils City Council opposition deputies.

Trade unions urge Latvian government to resolve transit businesses’ blocked bank accounts problem

Multiple trade unions associated with the transit industry have turned to Latvia’s highest ranking officials with a request to resolve the situation with bank accounts of multiple transit companies having been blocked because of US sanctions against Aivars Lembergs. If the government does not act, trade unions promise to organize massive protests.

Anris Leimanis picked as RB Rail council chairman

Anris Leimanis, independent council member from Latvian shareholder, has been picked as Rail Baltica joint Baltic company AS RB Rail council chairman. Ahti Kuningas and Karolis Sankovskis will serve as vice-chairmen, as confirmed by the company.

CSP: number of residents at risk of poverty declines in Latvia

In 2018 a total of 434 thousand persons or 22.9 % of the population of Latvia were at risk of poverty – 0.4 percentage points less than in 2017.

Latvian Saeima to ask Denmark to not extradite Kristīne Misāne to South African Republic

On Thursday, 16 January, Latvian Saeima made the decision to protect the rights of Latvian citizen Kristīnes Misāne, asking the Danish parliament and Danish law enforcers to support their Latvian colleagues and find a solution to avoid extraditing her to the South African Republic, as reported by Saeima’s press-service.

Smiltēns: Riga City Council’s situation can be described – divide, redistribute and plunder

«The situation in at Riga City Council can be described with three words – divide, redistribute, plunder,» said leader of Latvian Association of Regions Edvards Smiltēns in an interview to LTV programme Rīta panorama on Thursday, 16 January.

One single vote left the Lithuanian election system intact

The understanding that Lithuania’s election system needs changes is nearly overwhelming, but the ruling Farmers and Greens’ attempt to lower the Parliament election threshold in parties’ multi-member constituency from current 5 per cent to 3 per cent suffered a setback this week.

Estonian power grid executive detained over bribery suspicion

The Estonian Internal Security Service has detained a board member of the Elektrilevi power grid operator over suspicion of taking a bribe.

Demographer: Latvia has the lowest birth rate level observed the past decade

Birth rates continued to decline in Latvia in 2019. The lowest level of the past decade was reached in the country last year, says demographer Ilmārs Mežs.

Healthcare Ministry proposes single social fees rate for specialized tax regimes

One percentage point social fee rate for healthcare will be applied not only to general tax regime participants but also those working in special tax regime, such as microenterprises, patent payers and royalty recipients, according to a proposal for Latvian Healthcare Ministry.

U.S. and China reach preliminary trade agreement

Easing the U.S.-China trade conflict the governments of the two countries have agreed on the first step of mutual trade reconciliation. Their disagreements have affected the world economy for the past few years.


Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!