Iraq submits $70 bln infrastructure rebuilding plan

Wed Jun 17, 2009 6:25am EDT

BAGHDAD, June 17 (Reuters) - The Iraqi government has proposed a $70 billion plan for rebuilding the country's war-shattered infrastructure, but will ask companies to accept at least a five-year delay in payment for the projects.

A draft law drawn up by the cabinet and expected to be sent to parliament for approval includes $25 billion in investment in housing, $17.8 billion for agriculture and $8 billion for the transport sector, government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said on Wednesday.

However, the funds needed for the projects are not available in the Iraqi government's budget because of a fall in oil prices from last year's record high of more than $147 per barrel.

The authorities therefore plan to finance the construction through credit, direct investment or in a partnership between public agencies and private companies, Dabbagh said in a statement.

The government will pay off the projects five years or more after their completion, depending on individual agreements Dabbagh said.

The sectors and the proposed investments are as follows: ------------------------------------------------------------

Sector Amount ------------------------------------------------------------

Housing $25 billion

Agriculture $17.812 billion

Transportation $8 billion

Water and Sewage $5.539 billion

Healthcare $3.725 billion

Education $3.329 billion

Higher Education and Science $3 billion

Border security $1.5 billion

Communications $595 million

Youth and Sports $500 million

Justice $500 million

Culture $500 million
(Reporting by Aseel Kami; Editing by Michael Christie and Toby Chopra)



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