Spending on infrastructure will rise 11 per cent in 2017, MPs were told on Thursday, amid criticism over the low rate of completion of development works in 2016, which only reached 40 per cent by October.
Presenting the transport ministry’s budget, Minister Marios Demetriades said infrastructure spending for 2017 will be 11.6 per cent higher, or €31.3m, out of €298.6m in expenditure. Revenues were expected to be slightly lower at €296.3m, but higher than the previous year’s €249m.
Recurring expenditure will reach €236.3m, the minister said.
Concerning the rate of completion for this year, Demetriades said it was 39.4 per cent by mid-October, and was expected to close the year at 71.8 per cent.
Speaking after briefing the House transport committee, Demetriades said most of the infrastructure projects were co-funded by the EU and were listed separately.
He said there were €600m worth of ongoing projects, with half handled by the public works department.
The projects included police stations, fire services, courts, roads, and coast protection.
Asked about the feasibility of a sea connection between Cyprus and Greece, Demetriades said a study showed that it would have to be subsidized with €5m per year, making it unsustainable.