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The Russian Transport Ministry supported an initiative of Russian Railways (RZD) to allocate about one trillion roubles to reconstruct the Baikal-Amur Mainline Railway until 2020, the Izvestia daily reported. The relevant proposals to put the reconstruction of the Baikal-Amur Mainline Railway on the list of priority projects for the development of the transport infrastructure in the Far East will made in the government. The project envisages a higher throughput capacity of the Baikal-Amur Mainline from current 20 million to 50 million tonnes of cargoes annually by 2020. The experts acknowledged that the implementation of such a large-scale transport project will boost regional development, but warn about possible risks to disrupt its budget financing over probable changes in the macroeconomic situation.
Last February during his working trip in the Far East Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov instructed the relevant agencies to prepare proposals to make up a priority list of the projects for the development of the transport infrastructure to include it in the program over economic and social development of the Far East and the Baikal Region until 2018. The Transport Ministry submitted the proposals to the government over budget funding of over 50 projects to the tune of over one trillion roubles until 2020. The ministry said in its materials that the main problem of the development in the region by 2030 will be a restricted throughput capacity of the Baikal-Amur Mainline Railway over the development of new coal and ore deposits in Yakutia and the development of the port infrastructure in the Khabarovsk Territory and at other ports of the Northern Sea Route.
The Russian government is planning to allocate over 863 billion roubles, including 447 billion roubles from the federal budget for the reconstruction of the Baikal-Amur Mainline Railway, for the transport infrastructure of the Far East until 2020. Along with the development of the railways the investments in the infrastructure of aviation, maritime, railway and car transport are envisaged.
The Transport Ministry noted that a higher throughput capacity of the Baikal-Amur Mainline and the implementation of the Vostochny-Nakhodka project, for which it is planned to allocate 127 billion roubles, will influence the development of the ports in the Primorye and Khabarovsk Territories (Vanino, Sovetskaya Gavan, Vostochny). Meanwhile, the construction of the railway line from Yakutsk to Magadan can increase substantially the investment attractiveness of the Magadan port. The bulk of investments will be made in 2015-2020.
Despite the support for the project by the Transport Ministry and the instructions of the president and the government a final decision on funding is not taken, the Izvestia daily noted. What decision will be taken, this mostly depends on the conclusions, which the Finance Ministry will draw over the expediency of the funding of the project in view of a deficit looming for the budget.