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SHANGHAI Oct 8 Major Chinese construction
projects worth about 286.9 billion yuan ($45.17 billion) are
facing delays due to reasons such as slow fund distribution by
local governments, the country's top auditor said on Thursday.
Its comments are likely to fan concerns over the
effectiveness of China's renewed effort to pump cash into
infrastructure to shore up its slowing economy, as it suggests
that such investment is taking longer to ripple through.
The projects range from railways to housing.
Reuters reported in September that angry Chinese authorities
have seized up to 1 trillion yuan from local governments who
failed to spend their budget allocations amid an ongoing
Of 815 projects inspected across 29 provinces in August, 193
worth 286.9 billion yuan were found to be experiencing
significant implementation lags due to a lack of funds or poor
initial planning, the National Audit Office said in a report
published on its website.
Of 333 railway projects currently under construction, 99
were found to have a completion rate of investment - a measure
of investment efficiency - of below 50 percent, while 20 had a
completion rate of less than 10 percent.
For instance, two railways running from Dali city in the
southwestern Yunnan city to the cities of Ruili and Baoshan had
their completion date pushed out to 2019 from May 2014 due to
slow disbursement of construction funds, the report said.
Similar delays were found in the construction of
agricultural water-conservation projects and expressways, while
major telecom operators were found to be behind schedule on data
center completions, it said.
While the provinces are supposed to invest 12.43 billion
yuan into major agricultural water-saving projects this year,
only 708 million yuan had so far been invested at the end of
July, it added.
Beijing plans to channel funds mainly into infrastructure
projects to meet this year's 7 percent economic growth target,
sources involved in policy discussions told Reuters last month.
Some economists believe current growth levels are already
much weaker than official data suggest.
China's top planning agency, the National Development and
Reform Commission (NDRC), has approved about 800 billion yuan
($126 billion) of railway, port and highway projects so far this
($1 = 6.3510 Chinese yuan renminbi)
(Reporting by Brenda Goh; Editing by Kim Coghill)