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"Wide gap" between SMRT and LTA on new rail financing framework: Lui

SMRT submitted its proposal for the new rail financing framework months ago, but discussions are confidential, and the Transport Minister could only say there is a "wide gap" between expectations of SMRT and the authorities.

SINGAPORE: There is a "wide gap" between transport operator SMRT's expectations and the Land Transport Authority's position on the transition to the new rail financing framework, said Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew in Parliament on Monday (July 7).

SMRT submitted its proposal to the Government three months ago, but discussions are confidential and details of SMRT's proposal cannot be disclosed, said Mr Lui in a written parliamentary reply to Non-Constituency MP Gerald Giam.

However, he said one of LTA's considerations is that the valuation of SMRT's business must take into account not only the value of the existing assets SMRT owns, but also its current and future capital expenditure obligations as required under the existing licences.

A month after the train operator submitted its proposal, CEO Desmond Kuek said SMRT should "see a much more sustainable business outlook" should changes to the rail financing and bus operating models be approved.

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