Kh. Battulga, Minister for Road, Transport, Construction and Urban development was interviewed about the railway policy:
Q: What kind of amendments will be made to the railway policy?
Minister: The majority of the MPs have backed the bill submitted by the cabinet. It should be noted that we’re raising an issue of such an extent for the first time; hence there are many things that need to be considered.
Q: Some changes were made to the route, for instance it was approved to set UB-Kharkhorin line.
Minister: The project would probably be realized on the third stage of the railway development program. Kharkhorin is a historic place and main destination of tourists.
Q:How much will it cost to build 5000 km railway?
Minister: USD 6 billion will be required in order to set 5570 km railway.
Q:Some MPs say that narrow gauge railway lines would be much cheaper.
Minister: The issue we’re concerned the most is the railway relations between the countries. If we build narrow gauge lines we would repeat the mistakes of raw material exporters. MPs understood it and have backed the cabinet’s proposal.
Q:touched upon the railway privatization issue they claim that the percentage of Mongolian equity stake should be increased.
Minister: The current ratio of 50:50 complicates decision making. This issue will only be resolved by amending 1949 agreement. We’re planning to amend that agreement by 2010. After certain time we would submit the issue of increasing Mongolian percentage up to 51 percent.