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This is 20 billion ($3 billion) yuan higher compared with the target it set at the beginning of this year, gm Sheng Guangzu was quoted as saying in the People’s Daily on Wednesday April 9.

Some 7,000km of new lines are expected to complete construction this year, compared with 6,600km in the original plan, Sheng said.

48 railway projects will start construction this year, compared with 44 projects before, Sheng said.

“Accelerating railway construction can increase demand for steel, cement and other building materials, consume reasonable spare capacity and stimulate the development of domestic equipment manufacturing and other industries,” Sheng said.

Premier Li Keqiang last week said that the government will diversify fund sources for railway projects, including the formation of a development fund of 200-300 billion yuan ($32-49 billion) every year for rail financing, and new methods of railway bond issuance, with bonds worth 150 billion ($24 billion) planned to be sold each year.

Meanwhile, Beijing will encourage banks and other financial institutions to support railway construction.