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Water conservancy work surges in Jan-May period

Hou Liqiang
Updated: June 11, 2022 11:09    China Daily

China has made marked progress as it endeavors to tap the potential of water conservancy investment in maintaining stable growth and boosting employment at the same time, said Vice-Minister of Water Resources Wei Shanzhong.

"Between January and May, the construction of water conservancy projects has been generally accelerated, with marked results,"Wei said at a news conference on June 10.

He said construction of 10,644 new projects was launched during the period, with total planned investment reaching 414.4 billion yuan ($62 billion).

Among the projects, 609 have an individual planned investment of more than 100 million yuan, he added.

According to the ministry, it has set deadlines for all procedures needed for major national water conservancy projects scheduled to be launched this year. And relevant departments and officials will ensure that the projects can be commenced as planned.

Wei said the ministry has made consistent efforts to broaden financing channels amid the economic downward pressure caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Aside from endeavoring to get more government funding, it has also encouraged local governments to procure more loans from banks and attract more private investment.

In moves to help local governments beef up water conservancy development, the ministry has issued documents on how to make full use of government bonds, ramp up financial support, pilot real estate investment trusts and promote public-private partnerships, the ministry said.

It held a video conference attended by water resource departments of different levels to urge implementation of the documents, the ministry said. Tailored training will be offered to guide officials to "leave no stone unturned in broadening water conservancy investment".

Wei said that thanks to such efforts, 606.1 billion yuan has been raised for investment in water conservancy projects in the first five months of the year, which is 34.5 percent higher than the same period last year.

The investment already made during the period increased 54 percent to almost 310.8 billion yuan, he said. More than 1 million people are employed by these water conservancy projects, 770,000 of whom are rural migrant workers.

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