Private investment boosts Russian transport spending under Putin plan

MOSCOW, Nov 13 (Reuters) - Russia has increased its transport infrastructure spending plan to 7 trillion roubles ($110 billion) for the next five years thanks to private investment, a spokesman for a senior government official said on Wednesday.

President Vladimir Putin has ordered the government to target infrastructure spending, hoping that large investment and infrastructure projects will boost sluggish economic growth.

A five-year government plan, which outlines state and private investment for the modernisation of roads, ports, airports and railways, had earlier put spending at 6.35 trillion roubles, with 3.26 trillion coming from private investors.

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

The increase in private investment stemmed from revised plans for the modernisation 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 Reuters.

He provided no further details.

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

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

$1 = 63.8166 roubles Reporting by Gleb Stolyarovm, Writing by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber and Tom Balmforth, Editing by Timothy Heritage