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People's Daily Online>>Foreign Affairs

China to spend less on railway construction next year: ministry

(Xinhua)

14:23, December 23, 2011

BEIJING, Dec. 23 (Xinhua) -- China is planning to invest 400 billion yuan (629.9 billion U.S. dollars) in railway infrastructure construction next year, railway minister Sheng Guangzu said here Friday.

The investment scale registered a slight decline from the total expenditure of 469 billion yuan this year and a marked decrease from over 700 billion yuan in 2010.

This is the first time for the government to announce a clear goal for future railway development. Railway construction has been almost halted as the government has decided to slow the development of high-speed rail lines after a deadly train crash in July.

Total fixed asset investment on railways will reach 500 billion yuan next year, while construction will start on 6,366 kilometers of new railways, said Sheng at a national conference on railway construction.

But Sheng stressed that rapid railway development should be maintained, as it plays an important role in the country's social and economic development, especially in boosting domestic demand.

Sheng said railroad construction should be promoted "scientifically and orderly" next year, which is a severe challenge, and that there is still much to be done to collect sufficient funds for railway projects.

Sheng admitted that it would be an arduous task to ensure quality and safety of railway projects amid massive ongoing construction.

The ministry will increase efforts to raise money for railway construction and enhance management over its funding, including attracting investment from local governments and the private sector, he said.

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