Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Regional development minister to support public investment

ČTK |
8 December 2017

Lany, Central Bohemia, Dec 7 (CTK) - The Czech Regional Development Ministry should become a place for public investment, Klara Dostalova (ANO), who is to head the ministry in Andrej Babis's (ANO) government to be appointed next week, said after meeting President Milos Zeman on Thursday.

She said she wants her plan to be part of the government's policy statement.

Dostalova said the ministry should mainly be an office serving the Transport Ministry, so that new laws be passed to define strategic investments for the future, which would be also binding on further Czech cabinets.

She said it is necessary to prepare the Czech Republic for being financed from the state budget.

"The European subsidies will be drying out, also as a result of Brexit," she said.

Strategic investments should head not only to transport infrastructure, Dostalova continued.

"We also speak about investments in cultural heritage, reconstruction of gyms or local roads which, of course, is not under the Transport Ministry's jurisdiction. It is necessary to take a more comprehensive approach and prepare a strategy for investments in the Czech Republic even without the European resources," Dostalova said.

She said she would like to raise the Regional Development Ministry's budget.

Zeman was unpleasantly surprised by her information that the ministry's budget for 2018 has been sharply reduced, compared with that projected for 2017, she said.

"We are a ministry which spends 70 percent of its budget on programme financing and only 30 percent on its operation," Dostalova added.

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