Cabinet plans to revive bus industry

Manufacturers of buses and means of public transport welcomed the cabinet's proposal to pump LE650 million into the public transport sector to buy 600 mass transportation buses in the coming few months, within the framework of a plan to stimulate economy.
Manufacturers said the move would revive the bus industry, whose production had been reduced by 80 percent following the January 25 revolution in 2011.
The Egyptian cabinet announced it would buy buses made in Egypt to make up for a credit line of one billion dollars that had been granted by Turkey to Egypt but recently frozen. The Turkish grant was allocated to import buses, river units, and textile equipment.
Raafat Masrouga, head of the Engineering Company for Automotive Industry, said, "The stimulus plan is promising as it will save the [automotive] industry after a three-year recession."
The state bodies of transport in Cairo, Alexandria and other governorates have stopped [bus] replacement and renovation projects completely, especially after travel agencies ceased to purchase new buses due to decline in tourism rates, Masrouga said.
The large bus production has stopped completely, and minibus production has declined by 80 percent, he added. The production of microbuses continued at acceptable rates, he pointed out. 
Hossam Lashin, chairman of Turkish bus company Thompsa, said that work at the company's factories have stopped because there has been no domestic demand for buses and export lines have been disrupted with Libya, Syria, and Algeria.
The factory decided to lay off part of its labor, he said. Lashin added if tenders have been offered, the factory may reinstate them.  

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