Date
22 August 2017
China plans to start construction of over 6,600 kilometers of new rail lines this year, 1,000 kilometers more than in 2013. Photo: Bloomberg
China plans to start construction of over 6,600 kilometers of new rail lines this year, 1,000 kilometers more than in 2013. Photo: Bloomberg

China earmarks 600 bln yuan for rail construction in second half

China is accelerating investment in the railway sector, after spending nearly 200 billion yuan (US$32.23 billion) building rail links in the first half of this year, the Economic Information Daily reported on Tuesday.

The railway sector is facing a serious challenge of allocating as much as 600 billion yuan of investment in the second half of this year, which triples the amount in the first six months, the report quoted an industry insider as saying.

The nation intends to start construction of over 6,600 kilometers of new rail lines this year, 1,000 kilometers more than in 2013, according to a plan set by the State Council in April. Of the total investment, 80 percent will be channeled to central and western regions.

However, the actual investment in rail construction has been declining in the first half, due in part to issues such as land requisitions and housing demolitions, according to a railway construction bureau chief.

Investment in rail construction rose by 8.9 percent to 59.3 billion yuan in the first quarter from a year earlier, but the investment only expanded by 5.9 percent to 140.3 billion yuan in the second quarter, according to data from China Railway Corp.

Nevertheless, railway expert Wang Mengshu is optimistic that the nation will achieve the investment target, as the building boom usually happens in the second half of the year. “As long as money is in place, there will be no problem,” Wang said.

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JZ/MY/CG

Freelance journalist

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