China audit finds slow progress on major construction projects

Updated: 2015-10-08 17:22


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BEIJING - China's top auditing authority said on Thursday that 23.7 percent of construction projects it audited in August were behind schedule, even though the government has repeatedly stressed their importance in supporting growth.

The slow-moving 193 projects involve a total investment of 286.9 billion yuan (45.2 billion US dollars), according to a report by the National Audit Office following an audit of 29 provinces, 29 central departments and 7 central SOEs on their implementation of growth-stabilizing measures.

As of the end of August, 99 of the 333 railway projects under construction were not even halfway through their annual plans, the report said. The projects involved 173.7 billion yuan of investment planned for the year.

Only 5.7 percent of the 12.43 billion yuan allocated by the central budget for agricultural water-saving projects had been put into use by the end of July. Slow progress was also found in highway, power and telecommunications projects, according to the report.

The findings came as the government has accelerated fiscal spending on major infrastructure projects as part of efforts to arrest the slowdown in economic growth.

With a cooling property market and falling external demand amid a tepid global recovery, China's economy has hit a soft patch, growing only 7 percent in the first six months, the slowest pace in nearly a quarter of a century.