Gov’t Sets Growth Funding

The government has earmarked more than $1 billion to boost economic growth over the next three years in a sub-decree approved by the Council of Ministers on Friday.

Penn Thol, spokesman for the council, said that $1.086 billion would go to 277 projects in the areas of health, agriculture, education, rural road building, social services and demobilization of the military, among others.

The greatest share goes to health projects, which have been allocated $332 million. Transpor­tation, including road upgrades, gets $216 million, $168 million goes into improving education and $165 million for agricultural projects. Penn Thol said by 2002 the investment should help lift Cambodia’s gross domestic product by 6.3 percent a year.

“If carried out successfully…it would attract more support from donors, more investments…it would contribute to economic growth, infrastructure…human resources,” Penn Thol said after the cabinet meeting.

The money will come from donor countries and government revenue, said Penn Thol, without specifying how much is slated to come from the cash-strapped government. Most of the $1 billion likely will come from donors.

He said public investment was higher this year because of “political stability, more support from donors and the creation of two ministries: the ministry of water resources and meteorology and the ministry of construction and land title.”



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