Communists discussed whom to blame, what to do about Penza transportation system meltdown
Penza, 27 February 2015. PenzaNews. Oleg Shalyapin, head of the Communist Party faction at the Penza City Duma, told PenzaNews about the stance of the CPRF regional committee on the situation with municipal transportation services. Earlier, the official along with the deputy Alexander Trutnev had sent a request to the regional prosecutor’s office to check several deals made by the now-bankrupt “Penza Passenger Transportation.”
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“We received a reply that our request was sent to the Zheleznodorozhny area prosecutor’s office and to the Federal Antimonopoly Service department. On February 13, we received a follow-up from the prosecutor’s office. It is fairly long, but it sums up to this: no grounds for prosecutor’s investigation. Gave us a slip, to say roughly,” said the speaker.
According to the deputy, the reasons for bankruptcy of “Penza Passenger Transportation” lie in its past.
“In 2007, the municipal enterprise won the municipal transportation tender, and afterwards signed single agreements with privately owned companies, ‘Korporatsiya Dilizhans’ and ‘Merkuriy,’ for lucrative routes No. 66 and 70, and No. 54 and 89 respectively. Subsequently, ‘Penza Passenger Transportation’ was left to service over the remaining unprofitable routes – 26 of them,” he said.
In 2012, the history continued when the Penza city administration held a new tender on 30 transportation routes spread over 12 groups, Oleg Shalyapin added.
“The tender received applications from ‘Penza Passenger Transportation,’ ‘Korporatsiya Dilizhans’ and ‘Merkuriy’; however, when the deadline was up, a particularly interesting fact unveiled. The privately owned companies still fought over the lucrative routes, but the ‘Penza Passenger Trasportation’ for some reason did not, even though the enterprise had 50 buses in park, definitely enough for one or two of them,” said the Communist party member.
According to him, these actions led to over 150 million rubles of losses incurred by “Penza Passenger Transportation” in the years of 2012 and 2013.
Due to that, the enterprise took a 50-million loan at “Agrosoyuz” bank in return for a pledge of their own material base with administrative and production buildings.
“Later on, the bank transferred the debt onto another person: Oleg Fomin – the double-termed Penza City Duma deputy from United Russia, a de-facto owner of ‘Korporatsiya Dilizhans,’ and brother of that company’s general director Andrei Fomin, an incumbent City Duma deputy. It’s worth noting that pledged property was given only a half of its market price, which is about 111 million. We can surmise that when ‘Penza Passenger Transportation’ will be deemed bankrupt, its facilities will be given to a seemingly uninvolved privately owned transportation enterprise,” said the deputy.
He also stressed that those schemes were put into place under Roman Chernov, then head of Penza city administration, now deputy general director of PJSC “TNS Energo” Group and managing director of “TNS Energo Penza.”
“Now this all was unveiled, and what was once a secret is revealed. Nobody can say that negligent attention of Chernov’s administration to the transportation industry had no influence on this result. In my opinion, the unitary enterprise could make no decisions on its own. They were one way or another the decisions of the city represented by certain city administration officials,” said the CPRF Penza City Duma faction leader.
This statement is supported by numerous facts, Oleg Shalyapin continued.
“Why did the privately-owned companies get all the lucrative routes, and the municipal enterprise was left in the curb? Why did ‘Penza Passenger Enterprise’ sign an additional agreement in 2011 saying it will pay 4.70 rubles to each 11 rubles paid by passengers of ‘Korporatsiya Dilizhans’ and ‘Merkuriy’? It resulted in several millions of losses for the city budget. Why did ‘Penza Passenger Transportation’ left its transport to rust in garages in 2012, instead of going out to service lucrative routes? How did a municipal enterprise take the loan without having any reasonable plans to pay it back, and for a pledge of property vital for passenger transportation?” asked the interviewee.
He also mentioned a 2013 deal that sold away several offices in the center of Penza city, on Suvorova, 112a, which the official found shady.
“Back then, they were rented by ‘Mediklinik-Prof’ that paid a monthly rent of 151,000 rubles, or 1.8 million a year. The deal was made for a minuscule sum of 14 million rubles. These money could have been obtained in just a few years,” the deputy noted.
Oleg Shalyapin also spoke of 70 million rubles that “Penza Passenger Transportation” spent on law-related services in 2012-2013.
“64 million rubles out of these were transferred to a Dvorskaya T.I., who, according to what I know, lives somewhere in St. Petersburg, very far from here. The enterprise had its own staff lawyer, it’s important to add,” he said.
According to the deputy, the uncovered violations revealed by the Chamber of Control and Accounts throughout the two years for a total of nearly 554 million rubles resulted in no criminal cases and investigations, which is an outrageously negative fact.
“All this hints on a shady deal of business and authorities. A municipal enterprise was made a mincemeat food for capitalists who made profits out of it, and the people suffered. On the one hand, regular citizens nearly lost large buses, their favorite commute. And, on the other hand, innocent workers of ‘Penza Passenger Transportation’ were left on the streets, and they need to feed their families, teach their children, and some also have to pay exorbitant loan fees,” the Communist party member concluded.
Describing his vision of a way out, Oleg Shalyapin stressed that a new municipal enterprise must guarantee Penza stable passenger commute.
“It must receive all routes, both lucrative and not. If the authorities have the will for it, it is possible. Leasing new buses would help. Moreover, we must create a transportation map that would allow it to earn money and quickly pay the lease,” he added.
The deputy also suggested that transferring trolley buses to “Penzalift” will not save the situation, but rather threaten it even more by bringing one more enterprise closer to bankruptcy.
“60 trolley buses rented to it are a liability. They must be taken away in any case. Possibly, to a new state company that would take them,” he suggested.
The members of the Communist party are always ready to stand for what the Penza citizens need, Oleg Shalyapin stressed.
“The demands for stable transportation enterprise and for giving the state company all the routes will be in our main list the Communists will read out on a public rally on May 1, International Workers’ Day. Moreover, we demand to hold all those who brought the demise of municipal transport accountable,” he concluded.