Private Investment Helps Putin’s Massive Transport Spending Plan

Private investment made it possible for the Russian government to increase its transport infrastructure spending plan to 7 trillion rubles ($110 billion) for the next five years, a spokesman for a senior government official said last week, according to Reuters

In a bid to boost sluggish economic growth with large investment and infrastructure projects, President Vladimir Putin last year ordered the government to target infrastructure spending.  A five-year government plan, which outlines state and private investment for the modernization of roads, ports, airports, and railways, had earlier put spending at 6.35 trillion rubles (around $100 billion), with a little more than a half of that coming from private investors.

But additional investment has pushed up the share of private spending to 3.73 trillion rubles, a document from a government meeting in August seen by Reuters showed.

The increase in private investment stemmed from revised plans for the modernization of roads and railways, and from plans to boost cargo volumes through the Northern Sea Route, a spokesman for Deputy Prime Minister Maxim Akimov told the news agency, without providing further details.

A significant part of the government infrastructure spending plan is an investment in railway infrastructure and is part of a long-term development and investment program for state-run monopoly Russian Railways.

The company’s investment program for 2020-2022 is meant to total 2.5 trillion rubles, with 820 billion being spent in 2020. The company’s long-term development plan, adopted in March, aims for 4.23 trillion rubles of investment from 2019 to 2024.