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Meeting to discuss railway spending cuts

4 May 2011
China may cut its investment in railway infrastructure this year by more than Rmb200bn, the Economic Observer reported.

The newspaper claimed the Ministry of Railways had organised meetings to discuss whether it was still necessary to begin work on railway projects that had not yet started. An anonymous source was quoted as saying the discussions ended in agreement that this year’s investment in the construction of railway infrastructure would be slashed by Rmb200bn from the planned Rmb700bn.

The news report went on to say that some high-speed railway projects would be scrapped, with experts due to voice opinions on which ones could be cut without affecting the network’s efficiency. According to the newspaper, the new railways minister, Sheng Guangzu, who took over from former minister Liu Zhijun in February, had long wanted to reduce investment in new railway projects.

In an interview with People’s Daily last month, Mr Sheng said priority would be given to ongoing projects so they will have enough funding to allow construction to be completed. He said emphasis will also be given to projects for which there is an urgent demand because of economic development and projects that link up lines to form a network.

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