Israel set for $28 billion infrastructure spending boost

Israel set for $28 billion infrastructure spending boost

JERUSALEM – Reuters
Israel set for $28 billion infrastructure spending boost

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sept. 3 that his office would soon publish a multi-year infrastructure spending plan worth more than 100 billion shekel ($28 billion).

Speaking at the start of Israel’s weekly cabinet meeting,  Netanyahu said the planned projects would include private sector investment.

Bank of Governor Karnit Flug told the meeting that improving public transport infrastructure would be one area of investment.

“The level of 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 communication infrastructure,” Flug told ministers.

“The volume of annual investment is low by international comparison, and we are therefore not closing the gap in the level of infrastructure compared to other advanced economies, which weighs down productivity and the growth potential of the economy.”

Flug said the government should set up a special unit to specialise in the management and monitoring of public-private partnership (PPP) tenders and contracts. 

“It is important that an informed estimation of the costs be made, and that the budgetary sources be defined, in order to avoid stopping projects and sharp cutbacks in projects as has happened in the past at times of budgetary stress,” she said.