Big increase in national, rural water projects

Source:China Daily Author:China Daily Date:2022-06-08

By intensifying efforts to increase financing, the Ministry of Water Resources is working to promote the construction of major water conservancy projects to help the country cope with downward economic pressure.

"Since the beginning of this year, amid unexpected changes to both the international and the domestic environment and intensified downward pressure on the domestic economy, the ministry has been working with other governmental bodies to effectively promote the development of water conservancy projects," it said in a media release on Monday. 

The ministry has plans to invest at least 800 billion yuan ($118 billion) in developing water conservancy projects this year with the aim of promoting socioeconomic development and reinforcing the fundamentals of the micro economy. 

Mainly serving public welfare, water conservancy projects rely on government investment for financing. To increase investment this year, the ministry has stepped up efforts to tap the potential of local government bonds, funds and private capital, while simultaneously seeking additional investment from the central government. 

According to the release, the ministry has reached an agreement with the China Development Bank. The two bodies will produce a guideline to help local government make full use of national preferential financial policies on medium and long-term loans for water conservancy development. 

In the first quarter of this year, the China Development Bank, the Agricultural Development Bank of China and the Agricultural Bank of China issued 68.7 billion yuan ($10.1 billion) in water conservancy loans. 

The ministry will also introduce a guideline for piloting real estate investment trusts and on preferential policies for public-private partnerships in water conservancy developments. More training programs will be offered to local government officials on the best use of government bonds. 

With the help of government bonds, 72 billion yuan's worth of investment was raised between January and April to fund 830 national water conservancy projects, an increase of 115 percent year on year, the ministry said. 

It also noted satisfying progress in major water conservancy projects at the national level, as well as equivalent projects in rural areas. 

For example, roughly 20 billion yuan has been invested in developing rural water supply projects, benefiting almost 6.7 million people. 

Source: China Daily