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Czech gov’t finds money for road repairs, reduces fares

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Prague, March 21 (CTK) – The Czech government saved 8.4 billion crowns in the state budget for this year and it plans to use the money for repairs of minor roads and the promised reduced bus and train fares for pensioners and students, Prime Minister Andrej Babis (ANO) told journalists on Wednesday.

The self-rule regions would get four billion crowns for the repairs of minor roads, Babis said after a cabinet meeting.

He said the cabinet would decide on the use of the rest of the money next week.

Babis said the government plans to save 300 million crowns on the state debt servicing, 400 million crowns in the Education Ministry’s budget, and other ministries found reserves as well.

The State Fund for Transport Infrastructure (SFDI) sent nearly 11 billion crowns for repairs of the roads operated by regions in 2015-2017. Last September, the SFDI announced it would not provide such extraordinary subsidies for road repairs to regions anymore. The regional authorities protested against it.

Earlier this month, Babis promised to reduce bus and train fares for students and pensioners by 75 percent as of June. This is to cost the state 5.8 billion crowns this year. The 2018 state budget is projected with a deficit of 50 billion crowns.

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