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Russia plans major investments in infrastructure

November 06, 2013, 10:40 UTC+3

300 billion rubles were allocated for the construction of the Central Ring Road and other major thoroughfairs

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Major investment projects to be financed from the National Welfare Fund (NWF) will be discussed at a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday. It is planned to spend more than 1.7 trillion rubles on 17 investment projects, another 280 billion rubles - on 11 investment projects proposed by the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), the Kommersant daily reports.

It is proposed to consider large-scale investments in infrastructure as a new growth area of the economy.

On Tuesday, 300 billion rubles were allocated for the construction of the Central Ring Road and reconstruction of the Trans-Siberian (TransSib) and Baikal-Amur Mainline (BAM) railways.

According to open data of the Russia's Finance Ministry, the total volume of NWF funds is about 2.8 trillion rubles, deposited on the accounts of the Russian Central Bank in rubles, euro, U.S. dollars and British pounds (on Tuesday, the Russian government also decided to keep them in the Canadian, Swiss, Australian and Japanese assets).

The 800-billion ruble project for the construction of a high-speed railway from Moscow to Kazan is the main bidder for the NWF money.

“The speed with which the authorities after years of resistance to the NWF funds’ “release” are losing ground, is striking: before September 2013 the Russian Ministry of Finance had adamantly insisted that only 450 billion rubles could be spent from the NWF and only on four projects that had been specified by Vladimir Putin,” the Kommersant daily writes.

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