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Water resources ministry plans new projects to drive growth

By Hou Liqiang | | Updated: 2022-04-08 15:50
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Photo shows the heightened Danjiangkou Reservoir Dam in Central China's Hubei province, the starting point of the middle route of South-North Water Diversion Project. [Photo/Xinhua]

China will accelerate the construction of water conservancy projects to help drive economic growth, said Wei Shanzhong, vice-minister of Water Resources. 

Investment in water conservancy projects could provide effective economic impetus according to research, Wei told a news conference organized by the State Council Information Office on Friday.

Each 100 billion yuan ($15.7billion) invested can drive GDP growth by 0.15 percentage points and create 490,000 new jobs, he noted.

The ministry plans to invest at least 800 billion yuan ($126 billion) into developing water conservancy projects this year. "It's certain that… the investment will play an important role in helping maintain stable macroeconomic performance," Wei said.

He vowed a series of measures to ensure the launch of new water conservancy projects this year, including follow-up work on the massive South-to-North Water Diversion Project. 

The ministry will draft a list of key projects it plans to start this year. Aside from setting deadlines for the necessary procedures for launch, it will specify the departments and officials responsible for each project.

By communicating with other government bodies, the ministry will intensify efforts to speed up procedures, including environmental impact assessment. 

Wei also pledged to expand funding channels for projects. 

Between January and March, almost 50 billion yuan in local government bonds were issued for water conservancy projects. Wei said that the ministry will help water resources authorities across the country get support from special bonds as much as possible. 

Together with associated government bodies and financial institutions, the ministry plans to introduce preferential policies to tap the potential of capital and real estate investment trusts in supporting water conservancy project development. 

To encourage the investment to effectively play its role in driving economic growth, the ministry will urge companies to concentrate on quickening the pace of construction.

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