China eyes 600bln yuan rail backbone spend in 2013: executive

Reuters News
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Posted: Nov 10, 2012 6:29 AM

BEIJING (Reuters) - China plans to spend 600 billion yuan ($96 billion) building railway infrastructure next year, with 60 percent of the investment going to high-speed projects, a senior executive from China's leading rail and highway builder said.

Li Changjin, chairman of China Railway Group Ltd, also said that it was difficult for China to complete this year's plan for railway infrastructure investment.

Li made the remarks on Friday on the sidelines of China's Communist Party congress which is meeting to choose new leaders.

To support the slackening domestic economy, China has raised its planned total railway investment by 20 billion yuan to 630 billion yuan for 2012, the country's Ministry of Railways said in October.

Beijing has also approved 25 rail projects that could be worth more than 700 billion yuan as part of measures to support the broader economy, currently grappling with its slackest period of growth since early 2009.

The government said on Wednesday it would increase state spending and offer tax breaks to quicken the development of the country's urban public transport system.

(Reporting by Beijing bureau; Editing by Nick Edwards)