Transport Ministry: Well ask for $9b for 25 national projects

Director general Siterman: Internal Finance Ministry disputes have delayed projects.

The government will formulate a package of 25 new national projects to be built with private sector participation, amounting to $9 billion, says Minister of Transport director general Gideon Siterman. He made the comment in response to a Globes report, which said that a slowdown was expected in the execution of projects with private sector participation in the coming years. He added that the projects were part of an overall program to boost participation with the private sector.

Siterman said that approval for new national projects has been delayed because of internal disagreements between the Ministry of Finances budget and accountant general departments. The Ministries of Finance and Transport recently set up a joint committee, headed by Siterman.

The national projects under consideration include an international airport, construction of the next seaport, extending the Cross Israel Highway (road no. 6) northward and southward, and maintenance of intercity roads.

Siterman said it was a mistake to defer new national projects in recent years. The Ministry of Finance should have done three or four years ago what were doing now.

The Ministry of Finance said in response that no decline in the execution of projects with private sector participation was expected, and that investment in 2010-15 would be no less than the amount invested in the preceding five years. A top ministry official said, The main challenge of infrastructure companies today is to build the projects that will begin in the coming years, including the Tel Aviv and Jerusalem light railways. Only after theyre completed as the contractors promised will it be possible to continue with new projects.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - - on July 11, 2007

Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2007

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