Water projects to help bolster economy
［ Source：China Daily Author：China Daily Date：2022-07-13 ］
The Xiaolangdi water conservancy project discharges water to maintain a proper water level in the Yellow River in Luoyang, Henan province, on June 25, 2022. [Huang Zhengwei/For China Daily]
Unprecedented funding hoped to balance out downward pressure
The Ministry of Water Resources has raised an unprecedented amount of funds for water conservancy development in the first half of this year, as it endeavors to tap the potential of such projects to boost growth amid downward economic pressure, Vice-Minister Wei Shanzhong said.
During that time, a total of 748 billion yuan ($111 billion) has been raised for water conservancy development, up by 49.5 percent from the same period last year, he said at a news conference.
A total of 444.9 billion yuan has been invested, 59.5 percent more than in the same period in 2021.
"The amounts raised and invested both hit record highs," he said.
To help water conservancy development play its role in maintaining stable macroeconomic performance, the ministry has intensified its endeavors to broaden financing channels for water conservancy development, he said.
Aside from increasing government investment, it has strived to enhance financial support, encouraged public-private partnerships and pilot real estate investment trusts to get more capital, he added. About 160 billion yuan of the funds raised was contributed by special bonds issued by local governments, up by 293 percent year-on-year.
"With such large-scale water conservancy development, the industry chain of which is long, the investment has proved its effective role in creating job opportunities," he said. In the first half of this year, the development has seen 1.3 million people employed, 73.5 percent of whom are rural migrant workers.
He said the ministry, with other relevant government bodies, has ramped up its efforts to accelerate examination and approval for water conservancy projects. Thanks to the efforts, 14,000 new projects were commenced from January to June, with a total investment of 609 billion yuan.
According to the ministry, it plans to ensure that the country's total investment into water conservancy development reaches at least 800 billion yuan this year. In 2021, the country's total investment into such projects stood at 802.8 billion yuan, up 4.2 percent from the previous year.
To reach the target, the ministry has detailed all tasks in promoting the development and specified departments responsible for them. A consultation conference is being held once a week to promote progress, said Wang Shengwan, head of the ministry's construction department.
He said the ministry created a list of all major water conservancy projects to monitor their progress. Aside from demanding provincial-level authorities roll out measures to ensure that all projects are constructed as scheduled, it also dispatched officials to conduct on-site inspections.
The ministry, for example, issued circulars to urge local governments to accelerate the construction of 34 major projects that were found lagging in progress in June. Relevant local government departments were asked to work on the site to address problems construction teams met.
Source: China Daily