C'tee to draw up plan to close Israel's infrastructure gap

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The Aaron Institute for Economic Policy at IDC Herzliya puts the gap between Israel and the West at NIS 470-600 billion.

The Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of National Ministry of National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Resources, and the Ministry of Transport are setting up an inter-ministerial committee to formulate an infrastructure development plan. The committee is due to present initial proposals in December this year. It will be led by Accountant General Rony Hizkiyahu, Ministry of Transport director general Keren Terner, Ministry of National Ministry of National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Resources director general Shaul Meridor, and Ministry of Finance legal counsel Asi Messing.

The committee arises out of a government decision of August 2016 entitled "A multi-year investment program from developing public transport in the metropolises", covering projects to the tune of tens of billions of shekels. Among other things, the decision stipulates concrete steps for promoting light rail and subways in the greater Tel Aviv area, such as the Green Line light rail line with an estimated cost of NIS 20 billion and the Purple Line, estimated at NIS 8.6 billion.

Other projects mentioned in the decision are the planned light rail between Haifa and Nazareth, the cost of which is estimated at NIS 5.9 billion; a cable-car link between the Hamifratz bus station in Haifa and Haifa University, estimated at NIS 290 million; The Jerusalem Light Rail Green Line, estimated at NIS 8.5 billion; and the eastern railway line between Hadera and Lod, parallel to Road 6, estimated at NIS 8.1 billion.

According to the 2012 strategic plan for development of public transport, the gap in investment in infrastructure in this area between Israel and the West is NIS 200-250 billion, so that the existing planned investment is far from enough to close the gap. A study by the Aaron Institute for Economic Policy at the Interdisciplinary Center, Herzliya published today puts the general infrastructure gap between Israel and the West at NIS 470-600 billion.

Because of the wide gaps and the government's decision, the Accountant General announced two months ago that he intended to involve the private sector in infrastructure, and thereby to raise a further NIS 20 billion annually.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on July 17, 2017

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2017

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