China to increase funding for investment in water conservancy projects

China will intensify efforts to increase funding channels for investment in water conservancy projects and contribute to economic growth.Water conservancy investment could provide effective impetus to economic development, said Wei Shanzhong, vice-minister of water resources, on April 8. Every 100 billion yuan ($15.7 billion) of such investment can drive GDP growth by 0.15 percentage point and also create 490,000 new jobs。The ministry has planned to make at least 800 billion yuan of investment in developing water conservancy projects this year.From January to March, almost 50 billion yuan of local government bonds were issued for water conservancy projects. The ministry plans to introduce preferential policies to enable financial capital and real estate investment trusts to play their roles in funding water conservancy development.Jiang Dayu, an official with the Ministry of Finance’s department of agriculture and rural affairs, said that of the 150.7 billion yuan of the central government’s general public budget, 60.6 billion yuan is for water conservancy project development.Considering the grim flood control situation in recent years, the reinforcement and maintenance of small and medium-sized reservoirs will be given priority when allocating these public funds, he said. Other focus areas of the public expenditure will be the follow-up work of the massive South-to-North Water Diversion Project, drinking water safety in rural areas and irrigation for agriculture.

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