December 6, 2018 / 3:39 AM / 5 days ago

China approves $6.6 billion new urban railway projects in Chongqing city

People take pictures of a Chongqing Rail Transit train whose train track passes through a residential building, in Chongqing, China August 21, 2018. REUTERS/Stringer

BEIJING (Reuters) - China’s state planner said on Thursday that it has approved three new urban railway projects worth 45.57 billion yuan ($6.63 billion) in the southwestern city of Chongqing.

Chongqing municipality will finance 40 percent of the investment using fiscal funds, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said in statement on its website, adding that the government itself cannot take on more debt for the projects.

The rest of the money will come from bank loans, added the NDRC.

China has been fast-tracking infrastructure projects in recent months to boost slowing growth.

The economy expanded at the weakest rate since the global financial crisis last quarter and is expected to cool further in coming months before the impact of new construction begins to be felt.

Fresh spending has also revived worries about the health of local government finances, but Beijing has said it will continue to crack down on debt risks.

The investment value for three other railway projects that were approved previously was adjusted to a total of 47.38 billion yuan, the NDRC said, without giving the previous figure.

($1 = 6.8695 Chinese yuan renminbi)

Reporting by Beijing Monitoring Desk; Editing by Kim Coghill

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