September 16, 2022
BEIJING – The Ministry of Water Resources has made marked progress in increasing funding channels for water conservancy development as it endeavors to tap the potential of such projects in boosting economic growth, said Vice-Minister Liu Weiping on Wednesday.
As of the end of August, the ministry has this year managed to raise 977 billion yuan ($140 billion) for water conservancy development, compared with 648 billion yuan in the same period last year, he told a news conference.
The vice-minister highlighted the achievements the ministry had made in raising funds from government bonds, bank loans and private capital.
Government bonds issued by local authorities across the country, for example, contributed about 187 billion yuan of the funds raised in the first eight months, up 143 percent from the same period last year, he said.
“The examination and approval process for water conservancy projects have been constantly accelerated, thanks to strong support from the National Development and Reform Commission, and the ministries of natural resources and ecology and environment,” he said.
With 3,412 new projects inaugurated last month alone, the number of projects launched in the first eight months this year had reached 19,000, he said, adding the total planned investment for these projects stands at 1.8 trillion yuan.
“Such large-scale water conservancy development has played a significant role in stabilizing economic growth and employment,” the vice-minister stressed.
He said over 1.9 million people had been employed in water conservancy development as of the end of August, including more than 1.5 million rural migrant workers.
In the last month alone, 300,000 new job opportunities were created, he added.
Zhang Shiwei, an official with the ministry’s planning department, said the development of these projects has far-reaching significance for flood control, water supply and food security, as well as ecological safety.
Among the priorities in ongoing water conservancy development are projects for flood control, hydropower development, irrigation and environmental and ecological remediation, he said.
“We will strive to launch more major projects in the fourth quarter to make an even greater contribution to economic growth,” he said.
According to the ministry, it plans to ensure that the total investment made into water conservancy development across the country reaches at least 800 billion yuan this year.
China saw about 802 billion yuan of such investment made in 2021, up 4.2 percent from the previous year.