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Israel to invest $32 bn to boost infrastructure

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said his government will soon publish a multi-year plan to boost infrastructure with a budget of 116 billion shekels ($32.4 billion).

“We are forwarding a plan for developing national infrastructure,” Netanyahu said at the weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday, adding that the private sector would also be involved in the plan, Xinhua news agency reported.

The multi-year plan is expected to incorporate all of the infrastructure projects in Israel until 2021, he said.

Bank of Israel Governor Karnit Flug told the meeting that public transportation should be a major area of investment.

“The infrastructure in Israel is insufficient, particularly in the area of public transportation, and mainly in the major cities, but also in the electricity delivery system and in communications infrastructure,” she said.

She warned that the volume of annual investment is low by international comparison.

Flug said that the government should set a special inter-ministerial team to monitor and manage public-private partnership (PPP) contracts.

“The use of PPP enables the costs of the project to be spread out over time,” said Flug, adding that “it is important to monitor the budgetary ramifications of all projects over time” to complete the projects as scheduled without major stopping and budgetary deficits.

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