Minister says that public works sector can be "determinant" to boost economy

Government intends to bring forward 2030 National Investment Plan

The Minister of Infrastructures considered today that the public works sector is essential for civil construction to continue working and has a decisive role in boosting economic activity, given the crisis caused by Covid-19.

"Public investment can play a decisive role, not only in halting an increasingly certain recession", but also in "invigorating economic activity", defended the Minister of Infrastructure and Housing, Pedro Nuno Santos, who was speaking at a hearing of the Committee on Economy, Innovation, Public Works and Innovation, at the Portuguese Parliament, in Lisbon.

The government official stressed that, during the state of emergency, the civil construction sector has never stopped its activity, nor has any public work been cancelled, despite some delays.

“The public works sector is fundamental for civil construction to continue to work”, reiterated the minister, recalling that Infraestruturas de Portugal (IP) has already programmed around 427 million euros of investment for 2020.

“We are already at a stage where we have gone beyond the entire project phase, with previous studies, we have almost all of Ferrovia 2020 under contract, a part is missing, but which will also enter into contract by the end of the year”, he added.

Regretting the scarcity of public investment projects in reserve, Pedro Nuno Santos said, however, that his ministry had already asked for authorization to launch several projects that are "in the drawer" by the end of the year and that it is also the Government's intention to anticipate part of the National Investment Program (PNI) 2030.

“I hope we can move forward as quickly as possible, because it is clear that we are in the presence of a deep economic crisis and, in my opinion, with lasting effects. […] States have to be resolute”, considered the minister with the Infrastructure portfolio.

Asked about the survey of the state of emergency and the expected increase in demand for public transport, Pedro Nuno Santos did not want to advance the set of measures that the Government will adopt, as they have yet to be discussed at a meeting of the Council of Ministers, on Thursday. fair, but guaranteed that the Government has been working with mayors and companies, in this case, the CP, to "respond to a challenge, which is the return to active life".

The “Great Confinement” has led the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to make unprecedented forecasts in its almost 75 years: the world economy may fall 3% in 2020, dragged by a 5,9% contraction in the United States, from 7,5, 5,2% in the euro area and XNUMX% in Japan.

For Portugal, the IMF predicts a recession of 8% and an unemployment rate of 13,9% in 2020.